The time comes in History of all places like Sodom when God decides to act. America is in and has been in that position even as we speak. Before proceeding against Sodom God took Abraham into His confidence and revealed to His servant a new line of truth, apocalyptic truth, the truth concerning the impending overthrow of an utterly vile civilization.
The revelation of this truth was an interesting test of Abraham’s growth in grace and his increase in the knowledge and trust of God. How would a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?
Jonah, when faced with apocalyptic truth was glad. He pondered the impending doom of Nineveh with glee, determined to do nothing. Jesus faced apocalyptic truth with tears as he could envision Jerusalem within a generation. Here; faced with apocalyptic truth, Abraham prayed.
(V2) the wording here implies one moment there was nothing and the next, three men were there.
Notice there was no slothfulness on Abrahams’s part. ( Pr 3:27) ¶ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
He seen an opportunity and acted upon it, and was rewarded.
We too often spend more time worrying about getting taken, or someone else has more to give, or even I have done my share its time someone else carries their weight, that we miss out on great opportunities to serve.
He made haste, he didn’t confer with others, and he put himself into a position to serve. He bowed himself. Laid prostrate before Him.
The preparation of prayer.
Abraham put himself in the way of God. He saw where He was and went to Him. Now he is planning on getting to know Him. Not just more about Him but know Him.
He calls out to his bride for help.
Now I feel that because of the twisted wicked world that has so invaded our minds there could be those who scoff at the idea of imposing on Sarah like this and those who twist Sarah’s part in this
Notice the transaction between this Godly man and his loving wife.
Abraham didn’t lay all the work on her. He didn’t feel he had more important things to do. He took care of the majority of the preparation of the meal. Why? It was his guest.
This is a major part of who this man of God was. Peter wrote of it ; (1Pe 3:7) Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
He led his household, by example.
The preparation of his prayer life started long before these men showed up in his front yard.
Abraham set aside a specific time, made preparation, saw to it himself, then reeled in the benefits that come from knowing God.
The Lord not only reminds him of the promise, the covenant He has made with him but now shares with Abraham an apocalyptic truth.
The petition or accountability of prayer
How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society? He prays.
It is the first solemn prayer we have upon record in the Bible, and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom.
Abraham, no doubt, greatly abhorred the wickedness of the Sodomites; he would not have lived among them, as Lot did, even if they would have given him the best estate in their country; and yet he prayed earnestly for them.
(2Pe 3:9) ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Though sin is to be hated, sinners are to be pitied and prayed for. God delights not in their death, nor should we.
So what is it with this man that God would share with him something like this?
We are told in the bible that he is known as a man of faith, he was called the friend of God(Jas.2:23) and we also know that no one pleases God except by faith. (Heb.11:6)
Hey did you know that as born-again believers that is exactly what we are known as? People of faith. (Eph 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Did you also know we are known as Christ friends? (Jn 15:15)
Did it ever dawn on you just like Abraham God has given use apocalyptic truth?
The petition or accountability of the church in prayer.
How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?
Well, maybe we should take Abraham’s example.
God has shared with us through many different passages of scripture the outcome. Those who continue to rebel against God and choose to serve sin will be forever damned.
He has warned us that a day is fast approaching when the church will be taken up or raptured. Then hell on earth is the only way to describe future events.
Abraham made haste. He didn’t wait around but went to the Lord. He prepared his heart by living what he believed. Then he faithfully petitioned the Lord.
The Lord kept his promise. Those who would listen he saved.
How far have you gone? How much have you done with this knowledge of impending destruction?
How do you have to hate someone to hold back this truth?
Balance is the key to living a productive, blessed, exciting life as a follower of the Most High God.
We are; because of the transgression of our grandparents in the garden, given over to a lop-sided mentality.
We find it hard not to lean one way or the other. When it comes to our relationship with God it is no different. You find those who are against everything traditional and those who are against everything new. We find those who are so caught up in the spiritual side of things that they are spooky and those so caught up in the material side of things that they are worldly.
As we have used Abrams life as a reflection of the Christian walk, we have already seen the good the bad and the ugly. As we continue to observe the life of this man of God we see a balance based on, not tradition, morals, or own ideas, but on serving a Holy God.
Separated not secluded. (V13)
This is one of the hardest practices of the believer. Because of our addictions, our attractions, there might need to be a time period of seclusion.
(Matt.10:16) Jesus told us to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.
It is not wise for an alcoholic to go into a place where drinking is prominent. Can they go in and not take part? Yes. Is it smart? No!
No different for the druggie, the womanizer, or the glutton.
But as a general rule in our day-in and day-out living, God didn’t expect us to be isolated but insulated.
Jesus’ example is He went down into the valleys to teach and reach, then withdrew Himself with His disciples. Too many of us are going into the world with very little time invested in the things of God and find ourselves drowning.
We don’t see the importance of fellowshipping with those whom you joined in a covenant relationship of this congregation, so we don’t gather that strength and support then go out among our old friends who are still enslaved with our old ways and we find ourselves struggling to maintain and often caving in and slipping back into the imprisonment of sin.
Abram had made a confederacy with some of the Amorites. He knew of the first raids (V7) and was attune to this last invasion. He had a mass herd of cattle, sheep, and things that invading army’s like to pilfer, so he was concerned.
It is the same with Sodom. He knew and detested what they stood for. His separation from their politics, pleasures, and principles, and even people kept him protected from them but he in no way pretended they didn’t exist.
He had a heavy heart for them. He had already lost a nephew to their immorality.
When word came to him his nephew was taken captive Abram went into action.
Where was Lot his nephew? Living down in Sodom.
Deceived and deluded.
At last look, we saw Lot taking the good land near the Jordan. We took note that he pitched his tent toward Sodom. He didn’t go to Sodom, at first probably even talked about how wicked they were and looked down upon them in public while in private longed to participate or see what it was really like in this wild and wicked place.
When once your heart gets full of the world it isn’t long before your feet follow.
(Pr 4:23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Lot was playing with sin. He thought he could just dabble a little. So has everyone, whom sin has stolen away from their life.
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, looked toward Sodom, and then dwelt in Sodom.
You can almost hear the new and improved Lot. I don’t want to be like my stuffy uncle. I feel we cannot; only live around them but live among them. I am not going to make my children go to church, if they don’t want to participate then they don’t have to. On and on.
When once we get down in the mire we have to justify our surroundings.
Sin hardens our hearts that we are no longer sensitive to the prodding of the Holy Spirit. It blinds our eyes so that we cannot see its grip on our lives. It deafens our ears that we cannot hear the voice of God warning us, calling us pleading with us not to go.
A little later we see where Abram rescues his nephew but instead of seeing where he had fallen to, he goes back to the same ole song.
Don’t know if a nagging wife was to blame? Maybe it was the smell of money to be made. Could have been the worldly need of his children.
Like Lot, there are a lot of men today who won’t trust God with issues because they don’t want to hear it, don’t want to argue, don’t want the fuss.
(Pr 27:15) ¶ A continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
In today’s fallen world where there are many effeminate men, it goes both ways. A wimpy whinny husband is like a dreary nasty day. They both wear on you.
One of the greatest travesties of today is watching men succumb to family pressure.
They are supposed to be leading them. Not by pushing, shoving, bullying, but by being out in front, helping them see where God is at work and where they are needed.
They are the ones who are supposed to be praying and seeking God’s face as to wear to worship and what to get involved in. Praying with and for their children, their wife, being confident because of their relationship with God they are right smack dab in the middle of His will.
I pray to God for men who love their wives as Christ loves the church, for daddy’s who love their children enough to face the hard issues of raising devoted, sold out, followers of Jesus, instead of partying, playing, half-hearted, selfish sissies who jump here and there wherever the crowd is greater.
May I ad I am thankful we have many of the right ones here.
Tempted but devoted. As in the life of the Christian after every victory, Satan slithers in with something seductive to steal away God’s peace and joy
Abram didn’t have an army he had servants. But if God is for us who can be against us. Abram came, saw, and took names. It was an overwhelming victory. Emotions were high, excitement filled the sky. And (V21).
In the flesh, Abram could have said “well God is blessing me, I deserve this and more.” But instead, we have (V22-23)
He was looking ahead.
God had provided Abram with a time of strengthening with the King of Salem.
You might say why did he need strengthening he had just won a victory? Because that is when we get self-sufficient, boastful and pride raises its ugly head.
(1Co 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
God provided for Abram, He will provide for you. Abram was able to see the provision because his heart, eyes, and ears were attuned to God. He had separated himself from the ways of the world but did not seclude himself so that he could still be used.
God is wanting to use you. In the youth group, in the music ministry, on the football field. In the band, at the office, in the board room.
If we keep hiding our face we are not impacting but being impacted.
Link to the sermon preached on 7/4/21 via Facebook live.
In the book of Revelation we see in the 6th chapter that God’s wrath is finally poured out upon the wicked. What we find is (to me) very interesting. We see people of all types running, hiding looking to escape God, more willing to die than yield to the truth.
Seen this on a church sign. The truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth!
Just a quick side note; truth is not subjective.
Contrary to the lie that has been shared since our grandparents rejected God’s truth in the garden, which had Cain kill Able. That had scores of men and women refuse forgiveness and are condemned to an eternal hell.
The same lie that has captivated and confused many a mind of those who are already searching for anything that will allow them to fulfil their lust and not feel guilty.
Truth is truth no matter where you find it.
It is not my truth and your truth. It is not relative.
Other words changing to ones conditions.
If it was true then it is true now and will always be true. ( like I said, quick side note)
Truth is NOT subjective!
We wonder how can this be? How and why would anyone given the overwhelming evidence, reject God’s truth?
For the period of time we are looking at the answer is found in Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Thessalonica. In speaking on the subject of the day of the Lord he says:
For the day which we live in, it is simple. The bible tells us; men loved darkness rather than light.
Remember it is not that God is defrauding or deceiving, He is just allowing them to have what they desire. (Like those who want to believe in subjective truth?)He is removing His hand, He is turning them over to their own mind. (Wow! that a scary place for many of us.)
Now we have many examples of mankind running or attempting to hide from God.
We have Jonah. The illustration of the Prodigal son. To name a couple. But it all starts at the beginning. In the garden. It has been a character trait ever since.
This is why Jesus says “come unto me”. (Matt.11:28) We so busy running the other way, attempting to hide. Also “and if any man will come after me”. (Luke 9:23) Jesus ain’t into the hiding seek thing. He says here I am.
This is what really floors me though. Have you ever experienced God’s presence? This is what revival is all about. Coming into the very presence of God. If you have ever experienced it you know it’s an amazing place. Every day we should be, as born-again believers, should be in His presence. Life ought to be a romance.
If we were to be honest with ourselves this isn’t always the case. Why?
Look at (Genesis 3:6-9)
If anyone should be able to speak about being in God’s presence it should be these two. Think of the effect that the little glimpse of God’s presence does in us.
Makes a drunk man sober, a stoner straight. It brings to light all the dark recesses of our heart and cleanses them. Sets us free.
Now think about it. God actually walking, talking on an afternoon stroll. I can’t comprehend it. How it must have been.
Now look at what they (Adam and Eve) are doing. Hiding.
From what? God’s presence. The very thing that had to be just out of this world. The very thing they come to expect, time with God. An experience that we can none testify to.
Walking with God. Talking about the events of the day.
What caused this turn about? What could make you want to hide from the only one who created you? Who loves you? Who came purposely to spend time with you?
When you carry sin in your life, when you justify its presence, it drives you away from the light, away from anything lovely.
Sin has so marred us that we see ones that love us as enemies. Ones that destroy us as desirable. Ones that care for us as overbearing and ones that prey upon us as protectors.
Sin makes us hide from the only thing that can cleanse us, heal us, satisfy us.
What would have happened if Adam and Eve had come straight before God and repented instead of hid themselves and explain their rebellion away?
( Isa 1:18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
.James said it like this; (Jas 4:8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
We could most likely conclude that life would be totally different.
But what our grandparents started in the garden, we carry on today. We have been hiding ever since.
Even today there are those who would rather hide from the truth than to confess the truth before God.
Sin has blinded them into thinking that God is ok with what they have done or what they are doing.
They continue to go through the motions but death is at work upon them.
Slowly corruption is eating away at their love of anything Godly. Replacing it with a self -anointed, appointed theology of service.
Remember when you carry, hold on to unconfessed sin in your life; it drives you away from anything of worth, anything lovely, anything of God.
Part of our problem is what we consider confessing. Most of us fell its telling God.
He already knows.
Confessing is actually agreeing with Gods word about the issue. Total agreement seeing it as He does reacting to it the way He does.
Then when we can confess we can’t help but repent.
Remember how David repented. If it doesn’t cost you something there is not much repenting happening.
We can only guess at what might have happened to creation if Adam and Eve would have repented, but we don’t have to guess about what will happen if you do.
(Isa 55:7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
(1Jo 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus said: (Lu 15:7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Two major obstacles of repentance. Pride and fear.
Fear that what we done is unforgiveable. Fear of other people opinions. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown.
The other is pride.
If you’re struggling within come today. If you’re struggling with the words I have spoken, come.
We’ve been looking at what it takes to really be serious about the life God intends for His believers. In my time with my Lord this week, I was reminded as to why most never attain their God given potential or even learn to braek the different strongholds in their lives. They don’t want it. They are comfortable with the feelings of God they have.
Pr 25:28, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
Many fail to build protective walls. Godly walls. We don’t mind erecting walls to keep people out, ideas at bay, feelings from being hurt, but won’t spend the time and effort to strengthen our life in Christ.
The book of proverbs makes it very plain as to what it takes to accomplish a close intimate relationship with the one we call Lord.
Pr 2:1-5, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
If we invest as much time and energy into the things of God as we do simply trying to survive life we could attain much more of a personal walk with Him
We understand the basicprinciple of the believer is that we cannot stay where we are and go with God.
This is true for the new babe in Christ as well as the mature one. If you’re not growing, you’re not going.
If He convicts you and you’re not willing to make the adjustments in your life you backslide.
When you make the adjustments you start growing again.
You cannot continue to do things your way and accomplish God’s purposes in His ways. Our thinking cannot come close to God’s thoughts, our ways cannot even relate to His ways.
For you to do the will of God, you MUSTadjust your life to him, His purposes, and His ways.
Now since most of us have an innate problem with authority this presents us with a choice.
All through the Gospels you will find example after example where Jesus will put people in a position where they must choose.
Today Jesus is still presenting you with a choice.
Obedience to God will cost you. It will also cost those around you.
You cannot know and do the will of God without paying the price of adjustment and obedience.
Willingness to pay the price and following His will is one of the major adjustments.
Remember when Jesus spoke to the many people who were following Him and shared “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”
This had spiritual meaning which He even brings out. Joh 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
But what does Jn.6:66 record? “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
This is more than they bargained for. They didn’t want to have to engage their mind, just feed us and heal us.
This is where many who attend church fail to experience the fulfilling of God’s purpose through them because they are not willing to pay the price of obedience.
We say that God is Lord and He can interrupt us anytime He wants. We just don’t expect Him to do it.
We expect Him to affirm everything we are doing and never ask us to change anything we have planned.
I want to take a quick look at what it is to buy in. Look at Saul whose very name was changed to Paul.
Saul was one of those who had built his self-esteem on his family name, his prestigious position, even on his bullying ways.
Then in (V7) we notice not a subtle shift but a major adjustment.
This was very costly to Paul.
It was his very way of life, it was his raising, what he believed in and was proud of.
It put his very life at stake, the lives of his friends at stake. If he was a member of the shine he would have been black-balled as Jimmy Stafford would say.
Sometimes obedience to God’s will leads to opposition and misunderstanding.
Things were a little different then, than now. Because of his stand for Christ he was beaten by his used to be friends, imprisoned, hung out to dry so to speak.
Today you still find opposition when you follow God’s plan. Sometime with family, friends, with the church body.
For Paul there was no other way. He made it clear when he told the Corinthians; 1Co 9:19, “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.”
(V22) “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
When serving God there will be major adjustment.
Is God, the God of the bible, worth you adjusting your life to Him?
Are we there yet? That whiny, whimpering question.
How much farther? The last nerve fixing to stop the car question.
Most of us have dealt with these questions as we take our children on trips more than a city block.
We tend to look at these questions as childish, immature, and impatient, coming from a childlike mental capacity.
Truth bomb! Many of us are asking these questions today.
How much longer? Can I go places yet? What’s going to happen next?
In what we refer to as “The Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus is laying out some Godly principles that rocked the then known world. Like many today, they had a Wizard of Oz mentality of God.
Here Jesus is opening their eyes to the fact that God really loves His creation and desires the best for it. Because He is Holy and Just, He will not lower the standard to appease a wicked hearted people, but instead empowers them to live righteous.
In the original language, according to scholars, Jesus is talking about persistent asking. Continuous seeking. Relentless knocking.
Jesus is telling us to be a heavenly pest. Like a child on a trip.
The reason behind such action is that it reveals a real desire to contact, know, understand what God is about and doing.
This is not a doubting, pessimistic, “why me Lord”, attitude. On the contrary.
Jesus is referring to the Proverbs 2 attitude.( Pr 2:1-5) My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; (2 )So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; (3 )Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; (4) If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; (5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
You must do everything in your power to know and understand God’s will.
He wants you to persevere, to finish what you begun.
Remember what Paul told the Christians in Philippi? (Php 2:12) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This is a major deficiency in the modern church that Satan uses very well.
Few willing to incline their ear to Godly wisdom. To apply their heart to understanding. To cry after knowledge and lift up their voice for understanding.
The reason many inside the church don’t know the fear of the Lord, continue to fall short of God’s will, is until God means as much to them as lining their pockets, cleaning their house, entertaining friends, investing in their hobbies, fulfilling their fleeting pleasures; they will always find themselves fighting against His truth.
Would to God that those who claim allegiance to Him, was as excited about His coming back as they are about seeing the stimulus checks. (btw that few will tithe on.)
To ask, seek, knock, is imperative in searching for clarity of call and direction of the Lord.
Here in lies the reason why all too often there is division in the body.
Well meaning, sold out, but impatient believers catching wind instead of wisdom.
In Jerimiah. God gives the prophet a promise.
(Jer 33:3) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
This is what Jesus is telling us here in the Gospel of Matthew. That His Father is wanting us to call out to Him. He is waiting to pour out great and mighty things.
Note this. It is not that God will give you every detail, but will give you enough to know it is Him and you can trust Him.
Now in unprecedented times for us.
God is not asking us to be mindless zombies like followers. He is not looking for unintelligent morons.
In the context of those who seek to defame you. To ridicule you. Peter says: (1Pe 3:15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
This is not the time to get religious, to get churchy. It is the time to shed ourselves of religious pride. Of shameless self-serving superiorities.
We need to be persistent asking. Continuous seeking, and relentless knocking.
This is not a time of plague for us, as much as it is a time for parley.
This is an awakening, a revival, for many the light has been turned on. Sadly still for others, when this subsides it will business as usual.
We have to understand that what we are facing today is a serious matter. At the same time we face serious matters everyday of our life. There are those who feel we should not make light of serious situations but in truth, it is most difficult for me not to see humor in almost everything.
One of my favorite things to do in hospital visitation is express to the nurse how much the patient is desiring an enema. Or for the male patient as they are waking up, tell them the tubal tying was a success. Except for with Judyann’s brother-n-law that was true.(Just kidding!)
With this quarantine (hopefully before it is over I will learn how to spell it) I seen this little picture. It was of a gal who was in good athletic shape, looking in the fridge on day 1. Well the next pic was later, say day 30 or 40 and she had, lets say enlarged her boundaries per say.
That is what I want to talk to you about today. Are you FAT!
Not speaking about your physic but, rather your relationship with the Almighty God!
Are you Faithful? Are you Available? Are you Teachable?
When you’re faithful, you are on time for work, you meet your deadlines or goals, and you give more than expected.
What does that look like in our relationship with God?
Well, you are on time for work, you meet your deadlines or goals and you give more than expected.
What we expect in the world from good character is for the most part what God expects out of us.
Isn’t He worth that much?
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus shared a principle through a parable about a persistent widow and a hard judge. He brings it to this conclusion.
(Lu 18:7-8) And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (8) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth.
Meaning being open to new opportunities. Willing to get out of your comfort zone.
You become available right where you are, understanding nobody’s job is done until everybody’s job is done.
When you look in scripture you most find God calling those who are available.
They are not always the most talented, wise, or charismatic. Moses stuttered and got tired of dealing with people.
David, well David had a lot of issues but yet really wanted to please the Lord.
Look at the disciples. Luke I reckon was the most educated but none was what you would look for to operate a world changing business.
But they all made themselves available!
Today, I believe that is one of our major hindrances. Finding folks who are available, or willing to be available. They have too many other more important interest.
Time and time again I hear, well God hasn’t called me to….
My thought is when do you have time to hear?
(Proverbs 1:5) A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Can we be honest? Remember humility is taking an honest estimation of ourselves.
We all want to feel like we are teachable. I bet the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought the same.
But when they had the light before them they chose to remain in darkness, because what Jesus was teaching was foreign, though ought not to have been, but was foreign to their ears.
They stuck to what they believed in. Themselves.
Being teachable in no wise means that you fall for everything that sounds good or new.
It simply means you are willing to examine what you hear to see what truth there is, if any, in it.
Sadly for many of us, when God brings to light through someone or something an area where we have difficulty, we fall to our old nature.
We either defend our stance or argue our point but never really allow ourselves a look inside to see if there is something to it.
Don’t know how many times I have heard, “You just want to change me.” NO! God is.
So, are you FAT?
Too often when it comes to being faithful, available, teachable we hang on to the,
You don’t know who I live with, what I go through. You don’t understand my work place, my upbringing.
If I had different circumstances or new opportunities.
You want some heavy truth!
I have realized if you are married, you have issues. If you have been through hard times, easy times any times, you have issues.
If you go to work, stay at home you have issues. If you have been raise by parents, cousins, kin or a pack of wolves, you have issues.
I suppose what I am saying is WE ALL HAVE ISSUES!
God can use the circumstances you find yourself in right now. The question is do you really want Him to?
We tend to look for new or different opportunities to open up.
What about the opportunity you are not faithfully fulfilling now?
In the parable of the talents, (things we have been given to use) Jesus told those who used them:
(Mt 25:23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Luke 18:8)
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Sunday March 22, 2020
I am aware that it would seem a good pastor would be right up there preaching up on current events that are affecting us. Namely this corona virus. Spiritually speaking I believe that is what I do every time I have the opportunity to speak God’s word. For there is nothing more current than your present standing with God.I would like to speak to you today on where we are as a Nation, a church, as individuals. I want to give you some sure footed advice to strengthen you through these upcoming days.Pastor O. S. Hawkins has been pastor at 1st Baptist Dallas for years and also president and CEO of the SBC Annuity Board. I’ve had the joy to hear him speak on many occasions. He also is an author of many books, most of which I have read and has been a great help to me in my spiritual walk. Over the next few weeks I intend to share some thoughts with y’all that I have desired to for some time, which has been generated from one of his books “Moral Earthquakes”. It is one of those things that God births in your heart years before you actually use it.Here in the great state of Florida we have not been associated much with earthquakes. Though there have been some recorded they are not as prominent here as they are other places. We deal enough with hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, roundabouts and mosquitoes. Many of us can remember watching the horrible effects of the earthquake in China’s Tang-shan province in 1976. Mexico City in 85, and here in the God Blessed U.S.A. in California’s San Francisco area in 1989. There have been more since these but all have one thing in common, devastation and loss of many lives.When an earthquake strikes, no matter how much you have prepared, you are totally helpless. You are at the mercy of its gargantuan force of destruction. What moments before provided our greatest comfort and security is suddenly transformed into hurtling possessions and collapsing walls.Devastating as earthquakes are to this world in which we live, I believe moral earthquakes are even more shattering. It is evidenced in our society. Please understand, I am not referring to New York, England, the Islands, other faraway places, but right here in the great metropolis of Mayo.We like to pretend that everything here is fine, but in truth, all the things we have impacted our kids with and our own minds through the various media outlets have come back to haunt us. You cannot expect that when we subject our children and ourselves to shows on a regular basis where homosexuality is championed, cohabitation is the norm, sex is the chief objective to a relationship, alcohol, rebelling against authority, and children are smarter than adults and the like, that it is not going to have an effect. Add to this the humanistic teaching of our education system, the watered down, non-offending gospel that’s being preached and the “let the kid raise themselves” parenting program that’s so popular.It is affecting them and it has infected us.But there is hope! There is a solution!When the bible speaks to guide us and ground us, it hardly ever directs it to the weak but to the strong. Even those who simply perceive themselves as strong.That ought to have you take note. Awaken your spirit today. 1Co 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Samson was a man, though very blessed by God, traded it all in. He exchanged The Truth for The lie. We can learn some very important lessons from his life to help us succeed in ours. That’s the whole question in a nutshell. Is it important to you to live a life that’s successful in God’s eyes?
Samson’s beginning. Judges 13:1-5
Samson was a promise of God. He was raised in a good family and had the advantages of a solid good moral upbringing.
If we read on we find that in his life, he went from hero to zero.
What could cause such a loss?
We like to blame Delilah. It’s always the woman’s fault. But like in most cases, closer examination reveals another story.
Earthquakes don’t just happen.
They come from things well beyond our sight, well beneath the surface.
Shifting rock plates continually moving against each other sometimes get caught or stuck on each other till one breaks and then total chaos.
They call these areas of contact fault lines.
What we see as an all of a sudden event actually has been quietly occurring beneath the surface for years, decades, centuries.
Though we see Delilah as Samson’s greatest fault, truth is, the root of his downfall began some twenty something years earlier.
He had a special calling of God. He was a Nazarite.
If you will look when you get home in Numbers chp. 6 you will find the law of the Nazarite.
You will see that a Nazarite is not to drink wine or strong drink or even touch a grape in any stage of its life.
They are not to cut their hair.
They are not to touch a dead body.
These were all meant to be an external symbol of an internal reality.
Samson’s beginning of His end. Judges 14
14:1, Hanging with those he was supposed to be delivering God’s people from.
Who you associate with is who you become.
14:1-2, Dominated by his desires.
Pr 25:28, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls”
Samson abandoned his calling. He rejected his parents guidance and upbringing based entirely on his emotions, senses. His flesh.
His first lust/love story.
He never met her, talked to her, met her parents, and knew nothing about her except how she looked.
Now because he was following his heart we see one thing leads to another.
Jer 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Where are they? Vineyards.
What happens? Kills a lion.
V8, We see he comes back and inspects the dead lion. He not only touches it but eats from it!
What are two things a Nazarite is not supposed to do? Touch grapes or anything dead.
One sin leads to another.
One compromise leads to the next.
When we say no to God in one area of our lives the fault line begins to spread throughout the rest of our life.
Many of us are involved in things.
Sinful habits, moral compromise, spiritual laziness.
We rationalize them as petty, trivial, and unimportant. We see them as no big deal.
Later we discover, often when it’s too late living our lives on such fault lines has caused incomprehensible damage to ourselves and to others.
Samson was no different than many of us today.
We get caught up in the moment. Carried by passion, emotion, ruled by our heart.
We know the old saying. What flows from the bucket of the mouth comes from the well of the heart. The same is true of our emotions.
I’m asked often; why do I feel this way or why do I act that way.
Simply because that is what your heart is full of.
We ain’t got to be Samson.
We don’t have to wait to the end to hopefully get it right. Today ,those here, those watching, God is speaking to you.
The sad descent into addictive behaviors all begin small indiscretions.
But end in great devastation.
Today it is not too late.
IF,IF,IF, you really want to live a life that is successful in the eyes of God. Simply because He is worth it you can do something about it today.
1Jo 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
You are here today because the God of creation wanted you to hear this and submit, agree to it .