“In His Presence”

In His Presence sermon graphic

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TEXT: Exodus 33:1-16
INTRODUCTION:
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
1) Moses was longer in the mountain with God, so the people persuaded Aaron that Moses wasn’t returning and to make for them gods to lead them since Moses was no longer present. (Exodus 32:1)
2) Aaron makes them a god, a calf. So the people rose up and worshipped the calf. (Exodus 32:2-6)
3) God tells Moses what they have done in making the pagan calf and He tells Moses He is going to kill them all. (Exodus 32:7-10)
4) Moses prays for the people and God spares their lives. (Exodus 32:11-14)
5) Moses confronts their sin. (Exodus 32:15-25)
6) God slew 3000 men that day. (Exodus 32:26-35)
God has spared his people because of Moses’ prayer and Chapter 33 is God telling Moses what He will do and what He will not do.
I. WHAT GOD WILL DO AND WHAT GOD WILL NOT DO: (Exodus 33:1-3)
A. HE WILL ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO MAKE PROGRESS: (V. 1) “Depart and go up hence, thou and the people…unto the land…”
* Progress is always exciting. We rejoice in progress because we love to see things go forward.
ILLUSTRATION: We love seeing the church grow and things moving for God.
B. HE WILL ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO SEE HIS POWER: (V. 2) “I will send my angel before thee; and I will drive out…”
* Seeing God at work among us is so exciting. There is nothing like watching God do what man cannot do. All of us are quick to talk about what God does. There is nothing quite like it.

1) A changed life, 2) A sickness healed, 3) etc.

C. HE WILL ALLOW THEM TO PROSPER: (V. 3) “Give them a land flowing with milk and honey.”

* Don’t we rejoice when we get a raise or a new job or a new house or a new car?

* We rejoice when we have enough and even more than enough.

ILLUSTRATION: We rejoice in our church when the offering is up, the attendance is up, people are being saved and baptized.
WOW! Look what God has said He will do for these people that in the chapter before He wanted to kill. Now they will have:
1) Progress = Get somewhere!
2) Power = See the power of God!
3) Prosper = Have an abundance and no wants!
NOTE: Something suddenly happens! (Exodus 33:3b) “I will not go up in the midst of thee.” Because if I do, I will have to kill you! My Presence will not go with you!
The people mourn! (V. 4)
* No one is excited now about the Progress, Power, or Prosperity because they don’t mean anything if we don’t have the “Presence of God”.
NOTE: We have made Progress, Prosperity, and Power the spiritual yard stick of our lives, when the Presence of God should be what we measure everything with.
Because of this, we spend so much energy and time on these, Progress, Power and Prosperity and so little time on having God’s Presence in our lives.
DOCTRINAL: By now, some of you are saying that’s not Biblical. So let me let you know that I understand the Bible.
1) Omnipresent: God is everywhere…Present…and He was Omnipresent when He told Moses He would not go up with them.
2) Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
He will never leave us or forsake us. His Spirit came into us His temple, and He will not forsake us.
3) God is everywhere and He is in those who are saved, but God is not “manifested everywhere”. The intimate fellowship is not manifested.
Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
We don’t just know He is present, we see His Presence at work…Manifested.
ILLUSTRATION: Crowd: He stands out, He performs. He is on center stage.
II. WHAT THEY DO: (V. 4) “When they heard these evil tidings, they mourned.”
NOTE: We may not fully understand “God’s presence manifested” but they sure did.
1) They remembered the passing over of the death angel in Egypt.
2) They remembered the Red Sea.
3) They remembered the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.
FACT: The Bible teaches backsliding. We can be walking in His presence today and be backsliding tomorrow! We can look good on the outside and be spiritually dead on the inside. That’s why we must seek daily to have an intimate relationship with Christ. It is learning to walk in the Spirit.
III. WHAT MOSES SAYS: (Vv. 14-16)
* Moses was saying, “God I don’t want Canaan even if it flows with milk and honey, if I don’t have you.
* (V. 16) The Presence of God is what separates us from everyone else. It is God’s Presence “manifested” / “working” in us and through us that makes the difference.
1) It is what distinguishes one Christian from another.
2) It is what distinguishes one Church from another.
3) It is what distinguishes one Ministry from another.
4) It is what distinguishes one Mission from another.
ILLUSTRATION: Do you remember the first time you experienced “the presence of God?” The night I got saved, something happened to me. I started noticing the beauty of things around me; I started loving things I had hated; I started desiring things I had never before desired. I wanted to know God and love God and serve God and change the way I was living. I just wanted to continue to live/feel His presence in my life.
NOTE: His Presence brings JOY = That’s why a service where we sense His presence brings such joy. He is here! But one can be blessed and another not be blessed.
His Presence makes us HOLY = It takes away our desires to sin. We want to be clean before him.
His presence is our POWER = a) to be a witness for Christ, b) to make Godly decisions, 3) to obey His Word.
ILLUSTRATION: I don’t tithe because I am afraid of God. I tithe because my obedience brings the “presence of God” to my life. “Opens the windows of Heaven”…fresh air in… “Stop the devourer” = know when that is happening.
NOTE: Progress, Prosperity, Power, and Satisfaction are not synonymous. His Presence is what brings real satisfaction to our lives.
Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
ILLUSTRATION: Have you ever heard or said, “Today was such a good day or the Lord gave us a good day today?” What were you saying? If you experience Power, Progress, or Prosperity, you thought you had a good day. Reality is, His Presence is what we should measure in having a good day. We are so programmed to have Power, Progress and Prosperity we never realize how important it is to have His Presence.
IV. WHAT THEY DID TO GET HIM TO GO WITH THEM:
A. THEY REPENTED: (Vv. 5-6)
NOTE: They had used the ornaments, jewelry to build the calf and now they “stripped” them off of everyone and through them down before the Lord. There is a CHANGE in desire and behavior.
B. THEY SEPARATED THEMSELVES: (V. 7)
* This tent was moved outside the camp because God was showing His displeasure because of their sin. That cloudy pillow that was over their camp was now moved outside the camp. Now it was an effort to seek God’s presence. It was also public. They went out to the tent publically and worshipped.
Hebrews 12:1-2 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, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
C. THEY WORSHIPED GOD: (V. 10)
* Their worship now is private. When they saw the Presence of God manifested when Moses went in to worship at the tent, they worshiped at their tent door.
FACT: God’s Presence is manifested where God’s people are genuinely worshiping. So what is real worship? The Law of First Mention in Genesis 22 gives us the answer. Abraham said, “the lady and I will go yonder and worship.” Real worship is what Abraham did so if I want to have real worship I must do what Abraham did. I may not have to sacrifice one of my children but I must be willing to. Real worship is genuine obedience.
FACT: Dead public worship is the result of little or no private worship. It is futile to come here and expect to be blessed in public when you haven’t any time in God’s Presence privately.
CONCLUSION: Wrong measuring stick = Progress, Power, and Prosperity…NO…Presence.
Progress, Power, and Prosperity are good and we love it but nothing can replace His Presence.
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Some Kings I Want You to Know: “Solomon: The Wise King Who Behaved Foolishly”

Some Kings Graphic

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INTRODUCTION: The books of Kings and Chronicles have to do with the period of the monarchy in the history of the Jewish people that lasted 465 years.
We have studied the life of Saul and David and today we look at the life of Solomon, David’s son. He is mentioned about 300 times in the Old Testament and about 12 times in the New Testament.
He is mentioned: 1) In Matthew 1, in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, 2) In Matthew 6, by Jesus, when he said, “that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (lilies of the field), 3) In Matthew 12:42, Jesus refers to Himself as being greater than Solomon.
His life is one of disappointment. He began to reign at about age 20 with great promises and opportunities but his life was a great disappointment.
I am just giving you brief summaries of the lives of these men so we can draw some personal application. We will look at his life in the three major divisions.
I. SOLOMON’S GREAT BEGINNING:
* His name means peace. He is the 2nd son of David and Bathsheba. David’s great sin put a stain on his life forever. Even though God forgave him the consequences of his sin were great. But God’s grace was there to take this mess and make His miracle.
* David’s heart was tender and sensitive enough that his sin hurt his heart. (Psalm 51) Also he was humble enough to admit his sin and repent and turn his heart back to God.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
ILLUSTRATION: One of the true ways to know you are saved is the fact that sin hurts. Sin will grieve your heart until you confess it and get it right.
FACT: The Story of David and Bathsheba is a story of grace. David is forgiven and so is Bathsheba. When Solomon wrote Proverbs 31 and said, “Who can find a virtuous woman,” he was referring to his mother. They are in the family line of Jesus. God forgives them and blesses them and uses them. Yes, there are still consequences because of their sin. The baby conceived in adultery dies and David has all kinds of problems with his kids and in the kingdom, yet God is gracious to forgive and use them.
NOTE: Solomon is born into a family where forgiveness is known and celebrated. Like our kids, they are born into our families and all they know is that mom and dad have always served the Lord. They are beneficiaries of an atmosphere of grace. I am also sure Solomon knew of Amnon raping Tamar his sister and Absalom killing him and of Absalom trying to steal the kingdom from his father David. In fact, he knows very well how his brother Adonijah tried to steal the kingdom. But when Nathan the prophet and Bathsheba told David he reversed the situation and put Solomon on his own mule (to ride the King’s mules had a great significant meaning). It meant that the one riding the King’s mules would be the King’s successor. That’s why it was so significant that Christ ride the donkey into Jerusalem. He was presenting Himself as King of the Jews.
* Listen to David’s words to Solomon:
1 Kings 2:2-4 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
* Here he tells Solomon to live for the Lord and to put Him first in his life. There is evidence that Solomon obeyed his dad’s words.
1 Kings 3:3-9 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.  In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
* Solomon loved the Lord and he started off his kingship loving the Lord.
* In the Old Testament God frequently communicated through dreams. Today God speaks to us primarily through His Word.
* God basically gave Solomon a blank check. “Ask what I shall give thee!” (V. 5) What do you want? Just fill in the blank. Solomon could have asked for military might, or great wealth or great fame but instead he asked for wisdom in order to be the King that God wanted him to be.
NOTE: You and I can also ask for the very same thing from God to do His will and His work. You can ask for wisdom to be a good parent or child or sibling or a work He calls you to do.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
* Now that is a glorious promise. That ought to get everyone of us excited. You can get God’s wisdom if you want it and are willing to ask for it. Look at how God reacts!
1 Kings 3:10-13 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
NOTE: God gives him more than he asks for. Solomon becomes the wisest man who ever lived in answer to that prayer. Plus he became the richest man who ever lived.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
NOTE: An example of his wisdom and wealth: visit from the Queen of Sheba:
1 Kings 10:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions.
1 Kings 10:6-7 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
That is how Solomon started out as King. What a heart for God and what an amazing work God does through his life.
II. SOLOMON’S GIVING IN TO SIN:
* Solomon’s wisdom made him a great king. He as a magnificent administrator as he divided the land into 12 administrative districts, and a magnificent builder as he built the Temple and other great structures and when he prayed over the Temple one must say he was a magnificent prayer warrior. But, he made two mistakes!!
1. HIS LOVE FOR WOMEN:
1 Kings 3:1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
* This isn’t a good picture. He is marrying for political purposes. Strange, the daughter of Pharaoh, King of Egypt on the throne of God’s people. This is an early sign of big problems that will follow.
1 Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Outside of his Jewish people
* Yes, many of these wives were political marriages to keep peace but Solomon also had a problem with immorality.
1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
NOTE: Any man who thinks he needs 1000 women has a problem. Then 1000 women all wanting time with ONE MAN, think about all the cat fights. Plus, what would it be like when all the in-laws came to visit?
TODAY: The new morality and sexual evolution in America has destroyed so many lives. We think all of this sex liberation is good but the truth is, it has begun to destroy this nation from within. We have this whole thing backwards.
2. THEY TURNED HIS HEART FROM GOD:
1 Kings 11:4-7 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
NOTE: (V. 4) “When Solomon was old:” There are some dangers that come with getting old.
1) We can get self-centered…all about us! I like my routine!
2) We can get careless…we have already done that! Paid my dues! Become spectators rather than participants.
3) We can get tired…we get weak and give in just to keep peace! Compromise!
4) We can get complacent…loss our vision and drive to serve and grow! When we do we lose our joy! Still mountains to climb and giants to kill. Where are the Joshuas and Calebs at 80 who want to serve?
NOTE: All of these strange (difference religious) women brought their pagan gods and their beliefs with them and when Solomon began to compromise to keep peace he hurts the kingdom and breaks the heart of God.
NOTE: SIN NEVER GOES UNNOTICED WITH GOD. GOD STIRS UP ADVERSARIES AGAINST SOLOMON.
1 Kings 11:14 And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom. All those marriages didn’t work!
1 Kings 11:23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:
1 Kings 11:26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
*Solomon’s kingdom is going to be divided. Sin never goes unpunished!!!
1 Kings 11:29-30 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
1 Kings 11:41-43 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
* Now to get the final chapter of Solomon’s life we have to go to the Book of Ecclesiastes.
III. SOLOMON’S GROSSLY EXTENDED SADNESS:
* A look at how he finishes his life.
NOTE: Solomon wrote three books in our Bible.
1) Song of Solomon: When he was young and in love.
2) Proverbs: When he was in the spiritual/mature years of his life.
3) Ecclesiastes: When he was old and to the end of his life. He will soon die and face God and explain the wasted years. It explains what a wasted life looks like.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
* “under the sun” – This phrase occurs all through the Book. Here is a man who started out living for the God above the sun and now he recalls the failure of his life under the sun. (Life on this earth).
* He also seems to be haunted with the idea of death. He is getting very transparent as he comes to the end of his life.
NOTE: He tells us of all the things he tried to find happiness.
1. He gave his heart to thought:
Ecclesiastes 1:16-17  I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
* He was a learned man. He was an expert in the fields of knowledge. He was the wisest of human beings. He wrote 3000 proverbs. He wrote 1005 songs. He tried learning and found out you can have a head full of learning and an empty heart.
* Learning doesn’t make a person happy. Janitors at universities may be much happier than the professors.
2. He tried laughter:
Ecclesiastes 2:1-2 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
* It sounded like they were having a great time up there in the Palace but now we know the real truth.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
*If you want real pleasure and real joy, it will only be found in Jesus (His Presence)
3. He tried luxurious things:
Ecclesiastes 2:4-9 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
NOTE: (V. 8) They estimate that Solomon’s annual income was 20 million a year. That bought a lot of things and luxuries.
NOTE: Some of the richest people who ever lived are some of the most miserable people in the world.
Bigger houses and fancier cars and bigger bank accounts and the finest clothes don’t make one happy.
*What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul.”
4. He tried lust/thrills:
Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
* In V. 8 he refers to “the delights of the son of men”. Scholars say it is a reference to sexual pleasures. V. 10 seems to confirm that.
NOTE: The book of Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s personal testimony of how he lived his life. But it is also a last plea to all of us to live for the “Right World”.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
* In your youth remember God. Live for the right world.
* None of us are getting younger, so start now, and remember God.
CONCLUSION: Today, a greater than Solomon is here.
Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
RESOURCES: John R. Rice Study Bible, Illustration by Sermon Central, Sermon Search, Jerry Vines: Kings on Parade, Samuel by John G. Butler
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Some Kings I Want You to Know: “The King God Chooses: David”

Some Kings Graphic

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TEXT: 1 Samuel 16; II Kings 1

INTRODUCTION: Our last lesson was on the life of King Saul.

1. He had a Positive Beginning: His physical appearance was greater in charm, personality and size than anyone else. His humble service was impressive. He genuinely seemed to care about his family and others. His spiritual upbringing was greatly lacking. He lived 5 miles from Samuel who preached the Word for 25 years but they didn’t even know he was there. His spiritual potential was seen in how he started off with God’s hand on him. His early years were not spent being vindictive like his later years.

2. His Bad Behavior: Saul had a greater problem with obedience and it cost him the Kingdom. God told him the things he was to do but he didn’t do them.

3. His Persistent Bitterness: David had played for Saul the harp, when evil spirits would attack him. He loved David until he became jealous of David. After David killed Goliath, the jealousy began over a song.

I Samuel 18:6-7 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

But we need to give some clarity about this song. Look:

I Samuel 21:10-11 And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

I Samuel 29:5 = The Philistines are talking about this song!

5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

It is evident that this song had spread throughout the country until even Israel’s enemies knew of this song. All of this led to Saul’s bitterness.

NOTE: Bitterness always starts small, but if it isn’t corrected it becomes violent and irrational.

I Samuel 18:8-9 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

I Samuel 18:10-12 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.

4. His Pitiful Burial: Saul’s life ends in shame. He goes to a witch (I Samuel 28) to bring up Samuel from the dead because he was going into battle and God wouldn’t talk to him.

A. What Happens: Satan can’t disturb the souls of the redeemed. If he could do this to Samuel, what would he do to us? This witch is scared to death because she has never experienced anything like this.

B. God does a supernatural work here just like He did with Moses and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration. This is a Divine Miracle.

C. Samuel just repeats to Saul what he had already told him.

I Samuel 28:17-18 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

So we learned the importance of obedience.

TODAY WE LOOK AT DAVID

I. THE WAITING YEARS: I Samuel 16, 17, 18, 19-31

* David was God’s choice as King. David is mentioned some 600 times in the Old Testament and some 60 times in the New Testament.

*He was a shepherd boy who became “a man after the heart of God”. David was a musician, a warrior, and a great King. David’s life is recorded from I Samuel 16 all through II Samuel and to I Kings 2.

* David was anointed King in I Samuel 16. He was just a shepherd boy but God put him through a series of circumstances that would teach him and prepare him to be king.

* He learned to fight the enemies of sheep like wolves, bears and lions. He got good with a sling shot.

* He began writing songs about the greatness of our God. He gets so good at playing, singing and writing songs that he landed a gig for King Saul.

*Waiting years are never wasted years if we stay faithful.

A. LESSON OF COURAGE: (Chapter 17)

* Here we see David conquering Goliath. He could face Goliath and believe God would give him victory because God had already taken care of a lion and bear.

I Samuel 17:45-47 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

* We all have our Goliaths, but like David, if we will be strong and courageous and trust in God’s Spirit and not our own strength we can win the battles.

B. LESSON OF CONDUCT: (Chapter 18)

* David so behaved himself that people loved him and trusted him. Jonathan, the son of Saul, was one of those men.

I Samuel 18:14-16 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

NOTE: From I Samuel 19-31 Saul was trying to kill David but David did not retaliate. Even when he could have taken Saul’s life he “would not touch God’s anointed”.

C. LESSON OF CONVICTIONS: (Chapter 19-31)

NOTE: David’s experience in the Cave at Engedi:

I Samuel 24:3-10 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily. And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed.

NOTE: David’s experience in the Wilderness at Ziphi:

I Samuel 26:7-10 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him. Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time. And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

David would not “touch God’s anointed”. David wasn’t protecting Saul, he was obeying God. David was ruled by the Word of God and not his emotions. The Word of God was the authority of his life.

* David honored Saul until Saul’s death and then honored him after his death. All of those years waiting were never wasted, they were God’s University preparing David to be King of Israel.

II. THE WORKING YEARS: II Samuel 5-12

* David was 30 years old before he became King of all Israel. David was crowned King 3 times. 1) Secretly by Samuel. 2) Crowned King in Hebron (Judah) after Saul died and then 3) 7 years later King over all Israel. He had a tough job because Saul had made a mess of things.

II Samuel 5:3-5 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

* There are two parts of the working years of David’s reign!

A. YEARS OF TRIUMPH: II Samuel 5-10

* In Chapter 6 you see that David realized the importance of the spiritual life of the nation. That is when he attempts to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem.

* In Chapter 7, David wants to build God a house but God would not allow it.

* These chapters show the magnificent leader he was.

* In Chapter 9, you see David honoring the friendship of Jonathan by finding and taking care of Mephibosheth. Such a picture of how sin had crippled us but Jesus came and rescued us.

B. YEARS OF TRAGEDY: II Samuel 11-12

I Samuel 11:1-5 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

* David’s sin with Bathsheba and his cover-up of the pregnancy and then his murder of Uriah is unthinkable. (V. 11)

* Thank God for the man of God. (V. 12) Nathan the prophet confronts David’s sin and David represents. Psalm 51 tells of David’s remorse and repentance.

* What makes David different than Saul? David repented of his sin.

II Samuel 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

* His heart was tender and sin brought pain in his life. (Psalm 51)

FACTS: 1) David had probably seen Bathsheba before or women just like her on the roof tops. This time David’s heart wasn’t right with God. We see enough every day to cause us to fall if our hearts aren’t right with God.

2) All sin complicates your life and all sin has major consequences. Think before you do it!

3) God doesn’t make us where we can’t sin but He certainly make us where we can’t sin and enjoy it.

III. THE WANING YEARS: II Samuel 13, 15, 18, 24; I Kings 1

* At this point David’s life is never again the same. God forgave his sin but He didn’t remove the consequences. David’s life had many consequences because what you sow you reap.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

A. David has trouble in his family:

1) Amnon rapes his sister, Tamar, who is Absalom’s sister. (Chapter 13)

2) Absalom kills his brother Amnon. (Chapter 13)

3) Absalom tries to overthrow David’s throne. (Chapter 15)

4) Absalom is killed by Joab’s army. (Chapter 18)

B. David has trouble in his kingdom: (I Kings 1)

* Adonijah exalts himself as King and Joab and Abiathar the priest go along with him.

* David and God’s choice was to be Solomon. He has more rebellion in the kingdom.

NOTE: As we begin Chapter 2 we realize David dies. Listen to what God has to say.

I Kings 2:10-11 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

It is my desire to hear God say this of me. It is so important for us to be committed to serving God all the way to the end.

CONCLUSION: What stage are you in today?

1. Waiting = Then learn your lessons well. Get good at all you can do.

2. Working = Triumph – Go with God…Give Him all the Glory.
Tragedy – Keep your hearts guarded at all time.

3. Waning = You messed up. You see the consequences of your sin. You are
forgiven but the reaping continues. Stay faithful to God. End well!!

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Some Kings I Want You to Know: “King Saul: The People’s Choice”

Some Kings Graphic

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
TEXT: 1 Samuel 9
INTRODUCTION: God told Abraham and Jacob that their seed would be a great nation and that kings would also came from their seed.
Genesis 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
Genesis 35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
God made provisions in the law for the appointment of a King. Let’s look at this.
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
Chapter 8 records how the people demand a king.
1) Samuel had been teaching the people for 25 years and now they are demanding a king. Samuel is very disappointed but God tells him, they aren’t rejecting him, they are rejecting God.
1 Samuel 8:7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
2) In verses 11-16 he tells the people that a king will take…
(11) take your sons (13) take your daughters (14); take your fields, vineyards & olive yards; (15) take a 1/10 of your seed & vineyards; (16) take your men servants and women servants; (17) 1/10 of your sheep:
3) Yet the people still refused to obey, but continued to demand a king. (19-20)
4) Samuel is gracious in this transition. He could have left them but he helps them through this time.
FACT: Changes are hard and most of us don’t like change but METHODS do change but Biblical truth and principles never change. A) We must never try and change Biblical truth and principles, B) We must never sow discord and division in the church.
So Chapter 9 begins to introduce us to Saul who will become the 1st King over Israel.
Let’s Look at Four Things in Saul’s Life
I. HIS POSITIVE BEGINNING: (Vv. 2, 6, 9)
A. His Physical Appearance: (V. 2)
* “Choice” = the kind of young man you would be impressed with.
* “goodlier” = a superior person…very smart, charming, good, etc.
* “higher” = he was taller: head and shoulders taller: (10:23)
* Outwardly there was no one quite like him. He was someone who was well mannered, probably good looking and certainly tall.
DANGER: When we choose leadership on outwardly characteristics rather than inward character. The outside doesn’t define the person. The inside is what makes you or breaks you.
1) On the outside Saul was handsome but on the inside he was ugly.
2) On the outside Saul was a king but on the inside he was a slave.
3) On the outside Saul had a big body, on the inside he had a small soul.
B. His Humble Service: (V. 3)
* He cared for the family farm.
* He was humble before the prophet and didn’t want to ask him for help without paying him. (Vv. 7-8)
* He was very conscientious: (V. 5) Thinking about his dad worrying about him.
C. He had very little spiritual upbringing: (V. 6) He lived 5 miles from the prophet’s house and didn’t know a prophet lived there. He didn’t seem to have any awareness of the spiritual leadership going on in the nation. Yet Samuel had been among them for 25 years.
DANGER: A lot of people live near spiritual people and in the atmosphere of spiritual things, but they haven’t experienced God personally.
D. He did have spiritual potential: (10:5-6, 9-10)
NOTE: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him.” This happened to many people in the Old Testament. In this case he preached like the other prophets. In the New Testament dispensation of grace, the Holy Spirit came in us and He will never leave us. Don’t try to read New Testament truth of conversion into the Old Testament teachings.
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Remember Balaam prophesied in Numbers 24 and Caiaphas prophesied in John 11:49-52 and these men were certainly not born again.
* (10:9) “God gave him another heart” = this isn’t a regenerated heart like we know comes when someone is “born again” today. It is ruling heart. God was equipping him for the office of the king.
* (10:21-22) He was a very humble man. In these early days he had some spiritual sensitivity. He was very close to a real spiritual awakening but it doesn’t happen.
ILLUSTRATION: He is tender to spiritual things, like we become with death of a loved one, or some sickness or tragic event, but the outcome of his life proves that he didn’t have a relationship with God.
E. He wasn’t a vindictive man in these early years.
* (10:27) These wicked men were saying Saul couldn’t be a successful king to lead them to win battles and rule over the people. Then in (Chapter 11) the Amorites come up against Jabeshgilead and are going to capture them and put out their right eyes, so they sent to Gibeah (V. 5) and asked Saul for help and he rallied Israel’s army together and defeated them. Then listen to what the people said:
1 Samuel 11:12-13 And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death. And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel.
He had a positive beginning.
II. HIS BAD BEHAVIOR: (I Samuel 13: 9, 11)
*We move now to Chapter 13 and we will begin to see some of his bad behavior.
A. His lack of patience: (13:8-9) He was waiting on Samuel to come and make this offering to make sure Israel was ready for possible battle but Samuel doesn’t show up as early as he wanted that 7th day but he did show up the 7th day (V. 10)
B. His rebellion to authority: Remember Saul is the king not the priest. This position was separated so the King could not corrupt true worship. Jesus is the only one who is a true Prophet, Priest and King.
NOTE: Patience is a characteristic of Christ and one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is a must if we are to be the leader, husband or wife, or any of the positions that effect our lives the most. Without some patience, we all fail.
Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
NOTE: (V. 11) He blames Samuel and accuses him of coming late. (V. 12) He says he “forced” himself (V. 13) Samuel calls him a fool and tells him he lost the eternal reign over the kingdom.
NOTE: Chapter 14 Saul places a death warrant on any soldier who would eat that day. His son Jonathan doesn’t hear that curse. He eats some honey. God gives a great victory. At the end of the battle, they eat raw meat. It is now night, Saul has cooked some food and they ate it and before going to spoil the Philistines, he prays but God doesn’t answer him. He blames this on Jonathan for eating honey, but the people wouldn’t let him kill Jonathan.
NOTE: Chapter 15: He is told by the Lord (V. 3) to kill all the Amalekites; men, women, children, and animals. He spares the King and the best of the sheep and oxen. Samuel goes to Saul and listen to his first words to Samuel.
1 Samuel 15:13-14 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.  And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
Then he begins to blame everyone but himself. Then he repents, but he loses the kingdom.
1 Samuel 15:22-28 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.
This guy was not willing to obey God period! Samuel never again came to Saul.
III. HIS PERSISTENT BITTERNESS:
* Chapter 16:
1) David is anointed King.
2) David plays the harp for Saul when he is troubled by an evil spirit and Saul loved David.
1 Samuel 16:21-23 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
*Chapter 17: David kills Goliath:
*Chapter 18: The problem begins as they parade after the slaughter of the Philistines.
21:11 = David with King of Gath.
29:5 = David with the Philistine: this has spread to other nations. They dance to this song.
1 Samuel 18:6-7 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.  And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
Now Saul goes crazy and his bitterness will follow him to his death.
1 Samuel 18:8-9 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
Saul tries to kill David.
1 Samuel 18:10-12 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.
Now Saul spends years trying to kill David.
IV. HIS PITIFUL BURIAL:
*Chapter 28: Saul is about to go to battle with the Philistines and he is afraid but God would not answer him when he sought the Lord.
So, he goes to a witch and asks her to use her demonic power and she would not be punished. So he asks her to bring up Samuel.
1 Samuel 28:11-14 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
NOTE: 1) Satan cannot disturb the soul of the redeemed dead. If he could he would do it to any of us in eternity.
2) This is a supernatural work of God. God entered this scene. He brought a manifestation of Samuel on the scene.
3) God permitted the prophet to speak to Saul like He permitted Moses and Elijah to speak with Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration.
4) He repeats what he had already told Saul. (Vv. 17-18)
5) Satan does not preach the message that Samuel preached.
A. Samuel condemned sin, the devil condones sin.
B. Samuel declared the doom of sin, the devil declares the delights of sin.
*The witch had nothing to do with this. She is shocked by the revelation. This is a Divine Miracle.
NOTE: What could have been a great life, ends in great shame. Saul is killed by suicide and shamed by being beheaded and hung on the city wall in Bethshan.
CONCLUSION: How you live your life really matters. Doing things God’s way really matters.
1. Obedience
2. Obedience involves timing!
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Some Kings I Want You To Know: “Meet Samuel, the King Maker”

Some Kings Graphic

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
TEXT: 1 Samuel 1-16
INTRODUCTION: Today, we begin a study in the books of I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and I & II Chronicles. We will see how Israel transitioned from a theocracy (God rules) to a monarchy (King rules). From the period of the Judges to the period of the Kings, to the dividing of the Kingdom of Israel.
We will draw lessons from the lives of many, not all, of those kings and the great men around them.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Today, we look at Samuel. Although not a King, he was a King maker. He was the last of the Judges and the first of the Prophets. As we study these kings, the ministry of the prophets around them is very prominent. Samuel was a great man and one of the main characters in I Samuel.
BACKGROUND: Judges was the times when every man did what was right in his own eyes. So we begin this book with Eli the High Priest. Although his position was the most sacred office among the people of God, he didn’t treat it that way. Eli was not the man of God he should have been. He was a failure in ministry and in his family. His sons, Hophni and Phineas were a disgrace to Eli and to the nation of Israel. It was into the atmosphere that the life of Samuel is presented to us in the Bible. So let’s look at his life.
I. HIS MOTHER: CONCEIVED IN PRAYER: Chapter 1
*Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children. (V. 2)
1) Some say Christianity and Islam both approve of polygamy. No, Islam approves and encourages polygamy in the Quran. The Bible records polygamy but does not approve it.
2) To not have children at that time was considered a curse. This brought great pain to Hannah.
*Peninnah used this situation to provoke Hannah (V. 6) A good imagination will tell you some of the hurtful things she did to Hannah.
*Hannah takes her problem to God in prayer: (V. 9-17) “Tell”
Psalm 142:2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
*God hears and answers her prayer. (Vv. 19-20) The name Samuel means “asked of God”.
*How she responds to God: (Vv. 27-28) She kept her promise to God. She takes him to the temple and every year she brings him a bigger coat.
*Although Eli’s temple wasn’t what it ought to be, God took care of that boy because he was God’s and he was bathed in prayer.
II. HIS MINISTRY: (1:24-7)
A. CONSECRATED TO GOD: (1:24-2:36)
1) His consecration was very costly. Three bulls, sack of flour, and a bottle of wine. That was the material cost, but the giving of Samuel was the spiritual and emotional cost. (V. 24) (Vv. 27-28)
2) Hannah prays one of the greatest prayers in the Bible. (2:1-10) She knew how wicked and corrupt Eli and his sons were. She talks about God’s great power and then listen to her pray over her son. (2:9-10) – Prayer & Prophecy
3) Samuel served God. (2:11) He ministered (served). The environment was bad, yet Samuel served God (2:17-18). While Eli’s sons sinned the more Samuel served (2:26). When God tells Eli how he chose his sons over Him and how these boys will both die in the same day, but He will raise up a faithful Priest. (2:35)
B. CALLED OF GOD: (Chapter 3)
1) The Word of God was “precious” means it was very rare. God had stopped talking because they had stopped listening. (V. 1)
2) Samuel is probably 12 years old now. When God spoke to him when he laid down to sleep. (V. 4) It was an audible voice because he thought it was Eli. God did this three times, (V. 6 & 8) when Eli realized God was speaking to Samuel. He then tells him to tell God to speak because he was listening.
(V. 9) He told him how he would judge the house of Eli and although hesitant to tell Eli, he told Eli after he pressured him. (V.18)
3) Samuel heard God and served God and God honored Samuel before the people (Vv. 19-21).
NOTE: “When you have the call of God on your life, people notice it.”
C. HOW HE CONDUCTS HIS MINISTRY: (Chapter 7, 12)

*Word has spread that there is a man of God among the people and God speaks to him and he has the words of God for the Nation. Samuel is no longer a boy, but a grown man now.

NOTE: Israel had been under the oppression of the Philistines for 20 years. Chapters 4-6 tell how the Philistines defeated them in battle by killing 30,000 Israelite soldiers, the sons of Eli and capturing the Ark of God. (V. 2) Now if they want to be free here is what they must do.
1. HE PROCLAIMS THE WORD: (V. 3)

A. Get sin out of your lives and return to worshipping the one true God. Return to the Lord with all your heart.

1) They committed all types of sexual sins in worship to Baal and Ashtaroth. They called these orgies, worship. And they obeyed. (V. 4)
2) Now, prepare your hearts to the Lord and serve Him. A prepared heart is a heart devoted to God. It is a heart that loves God, listens to God and is loyal to God. It takes more than removing the bad things in your life. It goes to the core, the very center of your motives and motivation. Then, we will serve Him. If you get this order messed up, you will never get clean with God.
NOTE: So few in church today are interested in serving. They make so many excuses because of sin and self-will. Israel obeyed. (V. 4)
B. Samuel was a great preacher but he was also a man of prayer.
2. HE PRAYS FOR HIS PEOPLE: (Vv. 5-6)
A. He calls the people to Mizpeh to publicly declare their devotion to God and seek His forgiveness and dedicate themselves publicly to God.
* “drew water and poured it out before the Lord”. It was a symbolic way of dedicating themselves to the Lord.
ILLUSTRATION: When David’s mighty men fought their way through the Philistines in Bethlehem to get David water from the well at Bethlehem, he poured it out unto the Lord. Only the Lord is worthy of such dedication. (II Samuel 23:16)
“They no longer served the gods Baal and Ashtaroth, but their service was to Jehovah God.”
*They fasted and confessed their sins and Samuel judged (taught) the people (V. 6)
B. Look when the enemy shows up. (V. 7) Any time God is doing a work the enemy is trying to stop it.
C. The people cry out to Samuel to pray. (V. 8) “cease not” means do not fail to pray. You told us to come here and you would pray for us, (V. 5) so pray.
QUESTION: Wonder where Samuel learned to pray? He had a praying mother. Oh, God help us teach our children to pray.
D. The passion in his prayer “he cried unto the Lord”. The power in his prayer, “the Lord heard him.” (V. 9)
* “A great thunder” means it was not ordinary thunder. The sound was so unusual it “discomfited” them. It disturbed and confused them. It caused them to panic and brought fear upon even their mightiest warriors. The whole army was in a state of confusion. It was so bad that Israel was able to kill them with ease.
1) God can change a situation to be in our favor in a moment.
2) We need to be like Israel and be spiritually ready and in shape.
3) The enemy they were afraid of they now boldly pursue. (V. 11) Because the presence of God inspires all of us with confidence and courage.
4) Samuel builds a monument, a place to remember. It is called Ebenezer, “the Lord has helped us.” (V. 12)
NOTE: (4:1-2) (Beside) Ebenezer was where Israel had been defeated some 20 years earlier. Now, at this place is a stone to remind them of the victory of God.
He is our ROCK.
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Deuteronomy 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
Deuteronomy 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?
Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
D. LOOK AT HIS CAREER: (7:15-17)
NOTE: Every victory has to have the proper follow-up/discipleship. It isn’t as spectacular or exciting as the victory but it is a necessity if the victory is to be sustained. It is exciting to get people saved but without discipleship that victory will not be sustained. What caused the victory must be continued and to continue someone must be held accountable to continue in the path that led to victory.
Isaiah 28:10 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
1) He continued to judge the people. (V. 7) The idea of “judge” means to teach moral, spiritual, and ethical behavior. (Vv. 16-17) He travels to various cities, four are mentioned here, where he taught the people the Word of God. As a Judge over Israel, he used justice and personal integrity in all his decisions. His testimony was flawless.
Isaiah 12:5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
2) He practiced what he preached. (V. 17) He led them back to a true and godly worship of Jehovah. He attended worship faithfully and regularly. This altar in his hometown was a testimony to all those who knew him most that his walk with God was real. His faith was as strong at home as it was anywhere he traveled.
ILLUSTRATION: I pastored for 12 years in Morristown, TN. There were so many “Gospel Music Groups” that came out of that area. What was sad was many of these groups traveled and sung but didn’t even attend church at home. SAD!
III. HIS MISSION: (Chapter 8, 12:1-3)
*Samuel was God’s man to move Israel in the transition from theocracy to monarchy, from the period of the Judges to the period of the Kings. This is what we will see in Chapter 8.
* There are probably 25 years between Chapter 7 and Chapter 8. Israel is going to ask for a King even though they had a King. God was their King. Their motive wasn’t spiritual but carnal. They began to look at other nations and they wanted to be like them.
BACKGROUND: Scripture, God speaking to Abraham and Jacob, had told that one day Kings would come out of this great people/nation.
Genesis 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
Genesis 35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
God even made provision in the law for the appointment of a King. He had these restrictions. 1) God was to choose him. 2) He is not to make himself rich. 3) He is not to have multiple wives. 4) He is to have read and then obey the Word of God so he would stay humble and walk close to God.
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
* Samuel’s sons went to bed. (Vv. 1-3) Let’s be clear here. His sons had been made Judges by Samuel in Beersheba because Beersheba was at the southernmost part of Israel. This would be a long, hot, difficult trip for the aging Samuel so he was using his sons to lighten his load.
*The situation of Samuel’s sons and Eli’s sons are very different:
1) This seems to be the first time Samuel is hearing about their behavior. Eli knew what his sons were doing and didn’t stop it. God’s rebuke indicates that Eli could have stopped them.
1 Samuel 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
2) The people either were afraid of a repeat with Samuel’s sons as they had with Eli’s sons, or it was used as a weapon against Samuel to get them a king. We have no record of how Samuel handled his sons but the word is clear that Samuel could not be held in contempt by the people. He handled his life and his family’s life with a godly order.
1 Samuel 12:1-5 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
NOTE: God has no grandchildren. Every generation has to come to Christ for itself. Just make sure you aren’t like Eli and condoning or ignoring their sin.
FACT: God had already told them through Abraham and Jacob that one day kings would be coming out of their family but He also told them He was to choose who would be the king. Now instead of waiting on God, they demand to have one now.
This displeases Samuel because he has been teaching them for the last 25 years and now they come up with this but God tells him they aren’t rejecting you and your leadership, they are rejecting ME. (V. 7)
He then tells Samuel to tell them how a king would “TAKE” (Vv. 11-16) their sons and daughters, their crops, their tithe, their servants, and yet the people refused to listen. (V. 19)
PRINCIPLE: Samuel is gracious in this transition. He could have left them or become bitter at them, but he makes adjustments to the change even though he doesn’t like it. Now, change is hard on all of us and most of us don’t like change. The key is always remember methods and how we do things change and many times they need to but Biblical Truth and principles never change. So, let’s all be careful to 1) never try and change Biblical truth and principles and 2) never be a person to sow discard and division in the church when change in how we do things comes our way.
CONCLUSION: Let’s look at Samuel’s farewell address to the people.
1 Samuel 12:1-4 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.
That’s the kind of Christian I want to be. When Samuel died, the whole nation mourned.
Practiced what He preached:
1. Confess our sin.
2. Turn to God.
3. Prepare your hearts: Devotion
4. Serve Him only…then there is deliverance.
5. Discipleship…Altar at home.
RESOURCES: John R. Rice Study Bible, Illustration by Sermon Central, Sermon Search, Jerry Vines: Kings on Parade, Samuel by John G. Butler
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“America Founded on Faith in God”

America Sermon Title.jpg

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
Text: Psalm 22:3-5
INTRODUCTION: Today we celebrate Memorial Day together. It is a time of remembering. So let’s remember some important things together.
1. Remember How Memorial Day Began:
In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi, after decorating graves of her two sons who died representing their beloved south-land, an elderly woman walked to two mounds of dirt at the corner of the cemetery to place memorial flowers there also. “What are you doing?” friends shouted, “Those are the graves of two union soldiers.” Softly that compassionate mother said, “I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours.” That loving deed set in motion our celebration which has become known as Memorial Day.
2. Remember Those Who Died to Preserve our Freedom:
We honor the war dead once a year, but their sacrifice is evident every single day of the year! Today, we want to honor the memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives on the altar of freedom. Those thousands of sacrificed lives were not given in vain! Because of their sacrifice, we are free today and have the right to assemble ourselves together and worship our God. Think of the numbers of those who died to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today:
Revolutionary War 25,324
Civil War 498,332
World War I 116,710
World War II 407,316
Korean War 54,546
Vietnam War 58,098
First Gulf War 293
Iraq War 819
3. Remember How our Nation was Founded on God:
4. Remember the Greatest Sacrifice and the Greatest Soldier Jesus Christ:
NOTE: Our Nation began as a nation under God. Today we are living in trouble times. When we say the “Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag”, we insert a very important phrase, “One Nation Under God,” and then we use the word “indivisible”, which means “unable to be divided”. Yet our nation today is very divided. The toxic level of political hatred is seen each day by the way our media is promoting political division between Democrats and Republicans, and racial divisions between black and white and Latino & Asian, and social divisions between the haves and the have-nots and religious divisions between Christians, Jews and Muslims and Hindus.
QUOTE: We are living in troubled times. Would you like to guess who wrote the following words: “We are living in a time of fear. Today is a time of division. There is a deep cleavage in our nation. One of the most disturbing things in our day is the breakdown of law and order. We should
settle our political grievances through the vote, and not through violence.” (Paul W. Powell, November 23, 1969)
NOTE: We have reached a new low when we disagree with someone and then seek to harm or kill them because of the difference. If we want to be a nation united again we must get back to “One Nation Under God”. The problem is so many have forgotten our great spiritual heritage. Our children are victims of a system that has tried to remove God from our schools by taking prayer and Bible reading out and by not allowing our children to mention God, Jesus or the Bible. But history is on our side. We have volumes of evidence that our nation was founded on God, Jesus and the Bible.
Hymn: “Faith of Our Fathers”, the chorus says, “Faith of our Fathers, holy faith, we will be true to thee til death.”
OUR TEXT: In Psalm 22, we read words that apply to the Nation of Israel but I think they can apply to our Nation as well.
Psalm 22:3-5 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
1) They trusted in you and you delivered them.
2) They cried out to you and you delivered (rescued) them.
3) They trusted in you and were not (confounded) ashamed.
Our nation desperately needs to recover the powerful faith of our forefathers. Today, I want you to hear what they said and wrote about their faith in God.
I. THEY CAME TO THIS LAND SEEKING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:
NOTE: They were persecuted for their faith in Europe, so they left their homes seeking a new world where they could practice their faith freely.
Here is an example: Thomas Helwys, an Anglican minister, broke away from the Anglican Church because of baptizing of infants. He fled to Holland where he met a group of believers called Moravians who believed that baptism was for those who accepted Christ as Savior and not infants. This group was mocked and labeled “Ana Baptist” which means re-baptizers. So, we Baptists didn’t choose our name. We were given our name. It was a name of derision and mockery.
Thomas Helwys returned to England and planted the First Baptist Church in England in 1612. They were persecuted because of what they believed. Helwys was thrown in prison because he told the King of England, King James, that he wasn’t God, but only a man like everyone else and that one day he would have to bow to the real king, King Jesus. He died in prison at the age of 40, but his writings would influence others for generations to come. One of those influenced was Roger Williams who was a Puritan scholar. Fifteen years after Helwys’ death, Williams planted the First Baptist Church in America, in the first city of our forefathers, named after God, called Providence. On those shores came the Puritans, the Baptist, the Separatists and the Congregationalists to worship God as their hearts dictated without the persecution of the Church of England.
NOTE: Their early documents reveal their deep and abiding faith in God. John Winthrop, the governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, who was part of the 2nd wave of English settlers after the Mayflower, wrote in 1630: “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all the people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.”
All 13 Colonies had a singular statement of faith and belief. In 1639 the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut expressed their deep faith in God. Here is what they wrote: “For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things… there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people…to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess…which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us.”
The first regional constitution signed on American soil was the New England Confederation signed in 1640. It reads: “Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace.”
Only a dishonest historian could ignore the desire of the first settlers of America was to establish a government that looked to God as the only hope of their success.
QUOTE: During this time of exploration, the Spanish were headed south looking for gold, but the Europeans traveled north looking for God. Both found what they were looking for. The strength and stability of our nation is a testimony of a people eager to have freedom to worship the God of the Bible.
II. THEY ACKNOWLEDGED GOD AS THE SOURCE OF LIBERTY:
It wasn’t long, as those 13 colonies began to grow, until our forefathers realized being under the control of England was against their religious beliefs. In this new land there would be no human king. Only the King of Heaven was the source of liberty. When they declared this independence from England they listed their theological reason for their desire for liberty: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
1) They believed in absolute moral truth. They believed the Bible teaches there is a God-given sense of right and wrong placed in every human heart. It is a conscience. This truth is self-evident.
2) Then they spit in the eye of the British, when they wrote all men are born, created equal. Notice they capitalize “men” which means humanity, all men and women. All people are created equal, not just white people or Jewish people or Protestants or Catholics but all people are created equal. In England, you were born an aristocrat or a commoner. Still today they have their “House of Lords” and a “House of Commons”. Only the upper social classes were called ladies and gentlemen. Those crazy revolutionists said, “We believe every man is created equal.” Now that was radical.
NOTE: These men weren’t perfect, many still had slaves, and it would take another 100 years before they would fully understand this truth and abolish slavery.
QUOTE: On July 4, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King preached a sermon on the Declaration of Independence. He said, “The founding fathers were really influenced by the Bible. The whole concept of the imago dei, (image of God), is the idea that all men have something within them that God injected. And every man has a capacity to have fellowship with God. And this gives him worth; it gives him dignity. And we must never forget this as a nation: there are no gradations in the image of God. Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the image of God. One day we will learn that. We will know one day that God made us to live together as brothers and to respect the dignity and worth of every man.”
3) They believed we all had a Creator. God in Heaven made us and He is the one who gives us rights, not the King or some government. Every created person has God-given rights. They didn’t mention them all; they only mentioned three: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
A. Life: Our forefathers were pro-life. They believed that life began at conception, in the womb and everyone had the right to live. How sad, knowing our politicians and corrupt society has killed 60 million tiny Americans. “If we outlaw abortion, they will get them anyway illegally but if we outlaw guns then we will all be safe.” 2nd Amendment was not for hunting.
B. Liberty: Our forefathers believe we were to be free. In his famous speech 11 months before Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that liberty involves freedom in at least four areas: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear. All four of these came from God our Creator, not the government.
C. Pursuit of Happiness: They didn’t say we have the right to happiness but a right “to pursue happiness”. It is God, not government that gives us that right.
ILLUSTRATION: Solomon pursued happiness in everything under the sun, but he didn’t find satisfaction/happiness in WEALTH, PLEASURE, FAME OR RICHES. Listen to his last words of advice to us:
Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Our forefathers recognized God as the source of our liberty.
III. THEY WERE WILLING TO DIE TO PRESERVE OUR LIBERTY:
NOTE: In the Declaration of Independence, the writers list 27 specific charges against the King of England. Then when they concluded the document they declared: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
As they signed this document they were signing their death warrants. They were willing to die and lose everything they had for our freedom. Several of them died in the war. Many others were arrested and others watched as their homes and crops were destroyed.
NOTE: These courageous men took on the British Empire which was the leading military power of the world. The British had 80,000 troops and the largest navy in the world. George Washington wrote he never had more than 20,000 soldiers at one time and his navy was a few merchant ships whose captains added cannons. The odds greatly favored the British.
The Americans had this in their favor, their faith in God and a belief that God sent them to this country to be free. So they had a great motivation to defend their faith, their God and their homeland, even to death.
These brave patriots were willing to die to preserve their freedom, which has become our freedom.
IV. NOW WE MUST WARN OUR NATION OF THE DANGER OF FORGETTING
GOD:
Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
NOTE: Our forefathers gave us a clear warning of what would happen to our nation if we turned away from God.
George Washington in his first official act, the first inaugural address, acknowledge God and thanked Him for his blessings. But as he ended the speech, he offered this solemn warning. He said: “The propitious (favorable) smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.”
God was smiling on this new nation because they acknowledge Him as their source of Liberty. As He sees our nation today, is He smiling?
We are a dived nation. But we have been here before. Our worse time of division was during the Civil War. It was in the middle of this bloody, terrible, conflict, that President Lincoln called our nation to prayer.
NOTE: Lincoln’s call of our nation to prayer: “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” (March 30, 1863)
CONCLUSION: How can we once again be “One Nation Under God?” Remember the Greatest Sacrifice and the Greatest Soldier, the Lord Jesus.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
I Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Lord’s Supper: “As oft as ye do this, do in remembrance of me.”
Psalm 22:3-5 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
1. They trusted in God and He delivered.
2. They cried to God and He (rescued) delivered them.
3. They trusted in God and were not (ashamed) confounded.
Resources: John R. Rice Study Bible; Sermon Central; The Sermon Notebook; Faith of our Forefathers by David Dykes; Preaching.com/Craig Watts/Memorial Day: Hopeful Memory; Faithlife/Chad Prize/Remembering the Greatest Sacrifice
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“Doing the Unthinkable: Losing Jesus”

Losing Jesus Slide

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
Text: Luke 2:41-52
INTRODUCTION: It was mandatory for every Jewish male to return to Jerusalem at least once a year for the Passover unless they were physically incapable of making the trip. This feast lasted for 7 days. Jesus is now 12 years of age and has already gone through his bar mitzvah (where a boy at age 12 becomes a “Son of the Law”). This status means he has reached adult status concerning his obligations to the Law. It is on this trip to the Passover that Joseph and Mary do the unthinkable – they lose Jesus.
*Our text tells us that He was missing for 3 whole days. (V. 46)
FACT: Even though we love Him, it is possible to begin “following a far off” like Peter or to “get out of touch”, “loose contact”, like Mary & Joseph.
RESULT: Always the results bring sorrow and damage and a great waste in our lives.
THREE TRUTHS
I. IT CAN EASILY HAPPEN: (Vv. 43-44)
A. BY HARMLESS PREOCCUPATION: (V. 43)
BACKGROUND: There were lots of farewells to friends and family, plus all the packing of supplies and preparations for the 80 mile trip from Jerusalem to Nazareth. Needless to say those last few hours before traveling would begin were frantic, which is why they “knew not of it”, they didn’t realize that Jesus was not with them. Out of sight, out of mind!
NOTE: We can get so preoccupied with work, school, sports, jobs, etc. Get plugged in to a good church.
ILLUSTRATION: Pastor John Dees = His son went to Auburn. He went a nominal Christian and came back a fired-up Christian, not because of the university but because of his involvement in a good local church.
“Keep Your Eyes on Christ”
B. BY CARELESS SUPPOSITION: (V. 44)
NOTE: Unthinkable: They would make all these preparations for the trip and they forgot their son.
QUESTION: What plans are you making right now, business, move, dating, entertainment, etc., that you have forgotten to include Jesus?
BACKGROUND: Traveling would be very dangerous because of the crowds, animals, and bad people on the road. For protection the women would travel upfront and the men in the rear. This would be an even greater reason to make sure they knew where Jesus was.
They would have stopped for water and for meals which would have given the opportunity to check on Christ.
APPLICATION: We live such hectic lives; we begin our days supposing we have God’s blessings and power and approval in our lives but we haven’t been in the Word, or Prayer, or Worship, or Fellowship.
There are two examples I want to give you from the Word:
1) I Samuel 4: The Ark was captured by the Philistines: They thought they could just have the presence of the Ark and that would give them the victory over the enemy but they lost both the battle and the Ark. (4:22) “The glory is departed from Israel.”
2) Numbers 14:40-45 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!” But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword. Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
The people had chosen to listen to the 10 negative spies and not go into the promise land. (Chapter 13) Now they realize they have sinned and will have to wander for 40 years so they decide to go now into the land because they presumed the Lord would be with them but He was not.
“How dangerous it is to just presume or suppose God is with us today because He was with us yesterday.”
APPLICATION: Some of you will presume you can serve God in college as easy as you did in high school. Now you have your parents, good friends and youth group but you won’t have this unless you go out and find it in a good local church.
II. IT WILL SERIOUSLY HINDER:
A. IT RETARDS PROGRESS: (V. 45)
* It is approximately 80 miles from Jerusalem to Nazareth.
1) They lost 3 days.
2) Now they will have to travel alone. This dangerous trip will no longer have the protection of the group.
I John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Doing the will of God in our lives is all that lasts. Everything else we do doesn’t last. It is a loss of time and energy and resources.
I Corinthians 3:12-15 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
“Wood, hay and stubble” is living our lives outside the will of God. The “gold, silver and precious stones” is living our lives in God’s will. Our lives are nothing when we are not in the will of God.
B. IT RESULTS IN SADNESS: (V. 48) “sought thee sorrowing”
* Sorrow here expresses pain and grief. Their trip back to Jerusalem had to be full of grief. First, it was very dangerous. Second, their minds would have been running wild thinking about all that may have happened to Jesus. Third, the anger that Joseph and Mary were experiencing with themselves and each other. Fourth, their concern would have reached panic level.
STORY: When our son, Jeremy, was five we were at a camp meeting where 5-6,000 people were attending. We lost him in a split second. We were sitting outside and the next minute he was gone. He went into the service and went to the pulpit area looking for me. I was so scared I thought I would die. A preacher friend saw him and brought him to us.
STORY: We lost Devin at Disney World. He was with us and all of a sudden he was gone. He decided to go with his dad. Now, I don’t have the vocabulary to express the anxiety and grief we experienced in that 10 minutes.
FACT: Each of those incidents rendered me instantly ineffective, without peace of mind or joy. When we lose sight of Jesus, we lose our effectiveness, our peace and our joy.
FACT: Joseph and Mary left Jerusalem such a happy and fulfilled young couple but now they are broken and miserable.
III. IT PAINFULLY HUMILIATES:
* Can you imagine what they felt when they had to tell folks they had lost their son?
TRUTH: Joseph and Mary were the ones lost, not Jesus. (V. 49) And they didn’t know where to look for Him.
A. HE WAS ATTENDING THE HOUSE OF GOD. (V.46)
The House of God being where they found Him, implies the House of God was the last place they were looking. This reveals their lack of zeal for the House of God and their lack of understanding what Jesus came here to do. (V. 50)
ILLUSTRATION:
1) Jesus: “As His custom was” attend the House of Worship.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

2) Paul: “As his manner was” to attend the House of Worship.

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3) The Early Church = met daily to worship & fellowship.
Acts 2:46-47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
4) The Church = admonished to not forsake the House of Worship.
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.
* That’s why it is so important to be active and involved in a local church.
B. HE WAS ENJOYING THE TRUTH OF GOD. (V. 46)
NOTE: At age 12, as a “Son of the Law”, He was considered fully accountable and responsible to live and obey the Word of God like every adult.
NOTE: (V. 52) This verse implies that Jesus “grew-up” physically, spiritually, socially, and emotionally. Philippians 2:6-8 tells us He laid aside much of His outward appearance and privilege of deity. Since He was to be the model, pattern and substitute for man, He had to empty himself and become like us. He had to study to learn. He had to pray to receive power and he had to learn obedience through suffering. (V. 51) “subject unto them” means He was obedient to His parents.
FACT: Spiritual growth only comes when we walk with Jesus in the Word. When we learn it and obey it, it changes our lives and our futures.
C. HE WAS PERFORMING THE WILL OF GOD. (V. 49)
* It seems like Joseph and Mary had lost sight of who Jesus was and what He would do. Had they forgotten His birth and the Angels and the Shepherd?
FACT: “You will always find Jesus where the will of the Father is being done.”
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
CONCLUSION: 1) Students and Church: Don’t get so preoccupied with other things that your neglect your walk with God.  Don’t think you can live today off of yesterday’s grace and blessings. You have to continue in the Word, prayer, fellowship, and worship.  2) Students and Church: If you neglect your walk with God, your life will suffer loss and failure. Rather than experiencing joy you will be experiencing guilt and regret and defeat.  3) Students & Church: Your spiritual and moral failure will be painfully humiliating.
A. Get plugged in to a good church.
B. Stay in the Word of God personally and in worship.
C. Always do the will of God in your life. That is where you will find the blessings of God.
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Mother’s Day 2018: “Honoring Your Parents”

31719-cc_MothersDay_2016_7.1100w.tn_

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
Text: Ephesians 6:2-3 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
INTRODUCTION: Why would God give us such a commandment?  Remember this is one of the Ten Commandments. This one has a promise to give us a blessed life “well with thee” and a long life “thou mayest live long on the earth”.  Here is why this commandment is so important.
1. EVERY PARENT IS FLAWED.  Your parents are flawed. Their parents are flawed. If you are a parent you are flawed. If your kids have kids, they will be flawed. There are no perfect parents. So, we have no excuse to not honor the position even if the person is flawed.
2. I WOULD NOT BE ALIVE WITHOUT THEM.  Sure, none of us would be here without a mother, but I want you to see that God chose your parents to be the tools to bring you into the world, to create you. Good, bad or indifferent, God used them.
3. GOD CHOSE THEIR DNA TO MAKE ME UNIQUE.  God chose their DNA to make you unique. God was there at conception, and He was involved in developing your body, your mind and your personality, while you were in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. You developed even my inward parts (veins) and had your hand on me (covered me) in my mother’s womb.)
Psalm 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  – 1) unperfect = incomplete, 2) continuance = course of time; “He knew us before we were born and knew what He made us to be able to do.”
NOTE: That is why abortion is so wrong. It short circuits the will of God. Even before one is born, God has a plan for their lives. There are no accidental babies or parents. Your parents may not have planned you but God did.
Why we dedicate our babies! Even if they were conceived wrong!
The parents God gave me had just the exact DNA to create me. Any other two individuals and I wouldn’t be alive. They had the exact DNA structure and chromosomes to create us.
God was more interested in creating you than He was in their parenting. Your parents may have been good parents, bad parents, or terrible parents. They may have been absentee parents. They may have hurt you, but you could not exist without their DNA.
NOTE: We’re not all moms and many desire to be moms and for some reason that hasn’t happened yet, but we all had a mom and the Bible says we are to honor our mothers and fathers.
I. WE HONOR ALL MOTHERS TODAY.
NOTE: There are all kinds of moms. There are biological moms, step moms, single moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, and spiritual moms, and we honor all of these kinds of moms.
NOTE: The Bible gives us clear instructions on how we honor our parents at each stage of our lives.
II. HOW DO WE HONOR OUR PARENTS AT EACH STAGE OF OUR LIVES?
A. AS CHILDREN, WE HONOR OUR PARENTS BY:
1. OBEYING THEM:
* Obeying them means doing what they ask and by following instructions, and doing it willingly and cheerfully and immediately.
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
NOTE: One of the greatest life skills we can teach our children is to obey those in authority over you. If they don’t learn to submit to authority, they will be miserable and unfruitful.
There is a difference between position and person. A person may be a jerk but you honor the position. You honor authorities. There are three authorities in our lives: the home, the church, the government. Each has a difference role in shaping our lives. If a child doesn’t learn this trait, they will never hold down a job, or be productive in society because there will always be someone over them.
B. AS YOUNG ADULTS, WE HONOR OUR PARENTS BY:
1. RESPECTING THEM:
Leviticus 19:3 Ye shall fear (respect) every man his mother, and his father…
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence… (respect)
NOTE: Respect doesn’t mean you don’t see their weaknesses. The truth is, the older you get the more you realize they are flawed human beings. And as teens and young adults, their flaws are usually all you see.
God says respect them in spite of their flaws.
QUESTION: How do we respect them?
1) By accepting them: Realize both the good and bad and realize God gave them to you. They are your parents. Unless you were adopted, they didn’t get to choose you anymore than you chose them. So accept them.
2) By forgiving them: Forgive your parents for their weaknesses and faults because one day you will be a parent and need to be forgiven because you aren’t perfect.
NOTE: We show respect by how we talk to them.
2. LISTENING TO THEM:
* The Bible says we gain a lot of value by listening to our parents.
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
ILLUSTRATION: When I got old enough to appreciate the wisdom of my parents, I found great value in getting their advice. When my dad got dementia, I felt like a valuable resource was removed from my life.
NOTE: As an adult, you aren’t Biblically bound to follow your parent’s advice but you are Biblically bound to listen respectfully. There is never a time in your life where you are permitted to be disrespectful to your parents.
ILLUSTRATION: I have noticed that even bad parents know what is best for their kids. So, it is wise to listen to them. “A broken clock is right twice a day”. So, don’t wait until your parents “have it all together” before you listen to them. They will never “have it all together” but they love and care about you and they want only the best for you, so be wise and listen to them.
Proverbs 23:22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
God gave us our parents for a purpose. They are to help me become all that God wants me to be.
Proverbs 6:20-23 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
C. AS ADULTS, WE HONOR OUR PARENTS BY:
1. APPRECIATING THEM:
Proverbs 23:22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
* “despise not” = means to appreciate.
QUESTION: What should I appreciate in my parents? There are so many things to appreciate but let me give you two.
a. APPRECIATE THEIR EFFORTS:
* Parenting is difficult; it is time consuming and it is demanding. Have you ever thought about how much easier their lives would have been if they hadn’t had you? Think about the stress you have put them through, they gray hairs you have put on their heads, the disappointments they have experienced, all because they wanted to be parents.
ILLUSTRATION: The Great Red Woods of California add a ring around their trunk every year. On good years, with a lot of water, the rings are thick but on the years there isn’t much water they are very, very thin. You can tell the years of “crisis” by the thin rings. Your parents have lots of thin and thick rings. So be appreciative!
b. APPRECIATE THEIR SACRIFICE:
* Think about the nights of sleep they lost taking care of you. Think about what it cost them financially to feed you, clothe you, educate you, and doctor you.
ILLUSTRATION: To raise a child to 18 years, the estimated cost is $249,000.00.
* They spend money on you that they could have spent on themselves. What could they have afforded if they hadn’t had you?
What kind of trips could they have taken? What kind of house could they have lived in? What kind of cards could they have driven? What kinds of clothes could they have worn? How much did they spend on food, braces, school, doctor visits, clothes, and 10,000 other things? Parenting is one of the most unselfish decisions that can ever be made. God help your miserable soul if you don’t appreciate them!! Because you reap what you sow! Make them happy and joyful that they are your parents!
Proverbs 23:25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
NOTE: Western Culture is the only culture in the world that doesn’t respect their elders. In Asia, Middle East and Africa the older you are the more respected you are.
* The Scripture is clear to us individually and as a church that we are value, treasure, and esteem our elderly, especially our parents.
FACT: If your parents are alive, they have an intense needs to know that they made an impact in your life. Express appreciation and affirm them regularly.  How?  1) Stay in touch with them. Every call is affirming them. Every visit shows you honor them.  2) Talk to them: Their lives aren’t complicated anymore and they are very interested in what is going on in your life. I promise you it won’t bore them. It makes them still feel important, connected and significant.
2. PROVIDING FOR THEM:
* Roles reverse: They took care of you and now you take care of them. Many times this is hard because you still have kids that depend on you.
NOTE: Parents are living longer and kids are taking much longer to grow up!
I Timothy 5:2-4 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed. (no family) But if any widow have children or nephews (relatives), let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite (repay) their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
* So many are lost when their mate of 40 or 50 years dies. They need our help and this is why it is one of the 10 Commandments.
ILLUSTRATION: Even on the cross, Jesus took care of His mother. Joseph was dead and Jesus had taken care of her even though He had other siblings. Now, He tells John to take care of His mother. (John 19:25-27)
NOTE: God gives is a terrible warning.
I Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
We honor God when we honor our parents who used to take care of us. The parents that God used to create you. It was their DNA that God wanted to use to make you who you are.
SPECIAL NOTE: Those of you who had parents that hurt you. It is real but you have a life. 1) If they are dead, make your peace with it and with God.  2) If they are alive, talk to them, face the issues and ask them to “start a new relationship”. Stop the cycle of hate and hurt and don’t let it affect your children.
CONCLUSION: Today would be a great day to stop the bad cycles and to begin a new journey with our parents or our past.  For some it is a new day to begin as:
Children – Obey them.
Young Adults – Respect and listen to them.
Adults – Appreciate their efforts and sacrifice, provide for them.
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The Most High God: “Wants to Talk to You” Part 2

Most High God Sermon Series

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
Text: I John 4:1
INTRODUCTION: Last week we learned how God gives us impressions in our minds, but we must test them and make sure they are from God. Sometimes we can talk to ourselves (intelligent people). Sometimes Satan can talk to us.
I John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
IS THIS FROM:  Myself: Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  God: Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.  Satan: II Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
* 7 ways to know if God is talking to us…
* They form as a filter and if an impression doesn’t pass all seven tests you know it is not from God. If it does, you know absolutely, for certain, you’ve heard from God.
7 WAYS TO TEST AN IMPRESSION
1. DOES IT AGREE WITH THE BIBLE?
Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
* God will never tell you something that violates anything in the Word. NEVER. He will never tell you to IGNORE or DISOBEY anything in this book.
* God is consistent…He doesn’t say one thing one time and another thing another time.
* If we will listen to God’s Word, we will not get in trouble.
* God will never tell you to do something inconsistent with His Word.
NOTE: Most of God’s will for your life is here in the Word. You don’t even have to PRAY about it, JUST DO IT.
1) Church Attendance, 2) Tithing, 3) Witnessing
*When you build your life on the Word, you will not miss God’s will…If you don’t you will miss it most of the time.
2. DOES IT MAKE ME MORE LIKE CHRIST?
Romans 8:29 “…did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son… God’s goal for us!
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Think and act like Jesus!
I Peter 2:21 “…leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” Do what He would do!

* Jesus is the standard we use to measure everything we do…It is God’s goal to make you like Jesus…not to be a god but to be godly.

* He wants us to have the same CHARACTER & QUALITIES that Jesus had in our lives and He would never tell you to do anything that would hinder His reaching that goal in your life.
James 3:14-17 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
* These are filters that you use to TEST the idea.
NOTE: His wisdom is peace loving. He wants harmony rather than conflict. If it promotes conflict, it probably isn’t from God.
His wisdom is pure. Is the thought pure? If not, it isn’t from God.
His wisdom is gentle; considerate of other people. Will it hurt them?
God doesn’t leave a trail of dead bodies in His wake!
His wisdom is easily intreated. It is submissive. It is humble. One who hears from God will not be arrogant or egotistical or self-righteous, but very humble and not putting everybody down.
His wisdom is full of mercy. It is gracious toward people and not judgmental.
If your Word from God makes you judgmental and critical, you didn’t hear from God.
QUESTIONS: 1) Does it square up with the Bible? 2) Does it make me more like Jesus?
3. DOES MY CHURCH FAMILY CONFIRM IT?
* When you got saved you began a relationship with Christ and you became part of His wonderful family, called The Church.
* God wants you to use wise, older, more mature, godly believers in that family to help you make major decisions in your life.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
* Wise people get help from older, godly, more mature believer, but fools just do their own things; trust their gut; just do it.
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
* God has given “His wisdom” to “His church”.
NOTE: The reason so many people mess us is because they don’t seek “godly counsel” before they make major decisions.
* We must have someone who holds us accountable.
Proverbs 11:14 “…but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
NOTE: Lone Ranger Christians have so much failure in their lives.
* We need to be open to the checks and balances, the counsel and correction of truly mature believers in the body.

NOTE: If you don’t you will spend so much of your life constantly cleaning up messes you should have never made to begin with.

PROBLEM: Some people just keep asking until they find someone who agrees with them.
ILLUSTRATION: People go from church to church or pastor to pastor until someone says it’s ok. Some don’t seek counsel because they don’t want to be told they are wrong.
Proverbs 11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
* If you have truly gotten a Word from God other Christians, who are godly and mature will confirm it. If they question it, you should too.
NOTE: If people around you who love you and walk with God and are in His Word, disagree with you, don’t do it.
4. IS IT CONSISTENT WITH HOW GOD HAS SHAPED YOU?

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

* We are not accidents. Before we were born, God made us for His purpose and His plan for our lives. God designed us for a specific purpose. We are not here by accident.
EXAMPLE: A chair is designed a certain way to fulfill a purpose – to sit on it. A microphone is designed differently and has a different purpose – to enhance speaking. If you sit on the microphone or talk into the chair, it doesn’t work.
S = Spiritual Gifts
H = Heart: your passions and desires; what turns you on & what doesn’t.
A = Abilities: natural talents; words, numbers, animals, music, mechanics…
P = Personality: 4 types: Extroverted, Introverted; work alone or with others
E = Experiences: Vocational, Spiritual, Educational, Painful
1) God has shaped you for a career, a ministry, a life…
2) He gave you your talents, abilities, personalities, etc. because He has created you for a purpose. EXPOUND
ILLUSTRATION: As the design of the chair reveals its purpose, your SHAPE reveals God’s purpose for your life.
1) If you are tone deaf, He hasn’t gifted you for music. To try and be a musician would be a waste of your life.
2) If you are good at planning, your ministry in life will be involved in planning.
3) If you are good at numbers…
QUESTION: You get an impression from God you should ask, is this consistent with how God has shaped me?
ILLUSTRATION: If I get an impression to teach math in high school and resign this church, I would know it isn’t from God. God would not have me doing something I wasn’t designed (SHAPE) for.
1) What are you good at?
2) What do you love?
NOTE: You can discover a lot about His will for your life by just looking at what you are good at.
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

* God has given each if us the ability to do certain things better than others.

* God will never contradict how He has designed you.

* If you get a leading that is contrary to your SHAPE, ignore it, it’s not from God.
5. DOES IT CONCERN MY RESPONSIBILITY?
* If it is not your responsibility, why would God talk to you about it?
BIBLE ILLUSTRATION: Peter asked Jesus how John would die. Jesus told him it was none of his business. Don’t worry about it.
* I don’t have to worry about God’s will for your life, only mine. Truth is, I have a hard enough time checking my own motive and impressions to make sure they are from God.

* When we listen for God’s voice, listen for ourselves, and no one else.

Romans 14:10, 13 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 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.
* Many well-meaning Christians have caused a lot of hurt because they thought God was talking to them about what somebody else should do.
EXAMPLES: 1) He told me you would get well. 2) He told me your secret sin. 3) He told me who you were to marry.
QUESTION: Does God ever speak to me about other people? Yes
3 Qualifications
1. God will use you to confirm what He has already said to them but it is very unlikely He would speak to you first. People have confirmed to me what God has been saying and many times they don’t even know it.
2. If God does speak to you to help someone else, He usually does it without you even knowing it. Why? Keep pride from coming into your life.
3. Trust God to speak to that person first before you talk to them. Why? It will become manipulation.
EXAMPLE: When I contacted Danny Holmes about coming on Staff, God had already been talking to Him.
6. IS IT CONVICTING RATHER THAN CONDEMNING?
* Conviction is from God: 1) He will show you what to change, 2) It is always specific: a behavior, an attitude, etc., 3) It always leads to change, repentance, and forgiveness.
*Condemnation is from the devil: 1) It just makes you feel bad, 2) It will be vague: you’re bad, no good, worthless… 3) It just discourages you which leads to defeat and feelings of worthlessness. Why try? I am no good.
PROBLEM: You may have had a parent you could not please no matter how hard you tried (grades, looks, etc.) so you look at God that way and you feel that no matter how hard you try, you can’t please Him.
NOTE: God never beats His kids up!
NOTE: As believers, our pasts are forgiven and gone. Our present and futures are also nailed to the cross. It is finished and paid for.
QUESTION: Should a Christian feel guilty? Yes, but only as long as it takes to say, “Lord, I’m sorry.”
NOTE: You can’t let God down or disappoint Him because He knows every sin we will ever commit.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
* Keep your accounts short with God.

NOTE: Before you sin, satan minimizes your sin. It’s no big deal. But after you sin, he maximizes it. You are worthless, no good, etc.

* When you sin, confess it. After you confess it, any guilt you feel after you confess it is not from God.
Revelation 12:10 “…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
* God never tells us we are worthless or hopeless!
The differences between conviction and condemnation:
Conviction is from God, “you’ve sinned”. Condemnation is from satan, “you’re worthless”.
7. DO I SENSE GOD’S PEACE ABOUT IT?
I Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”
* If you’re feeling confusion, it is not from God. It may be from yourself, others, or the devil.
* If you’re feeling pressured or overwhelmed to make a major decision hastily, question it.
NOTE: There isn’t one example from scripture where God says, “rush” but he does talk about patience and being still and waiting on the Lord.
NOTE: The only time you will feel pressure is when God has told you to do something and you have procrastinated.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
* God’s voice will bring peace to your heart.
* Worry and anxiety are never from God. We are commanded not to worry.
NOTE: God doesn’t play games with us. It’s not a cat and mouse game. He wants you to know and do His will. To miss God’s voice on buying groceries is no big deal but to miss His voice on major decisions can destroy your life. God wants such a relationship with us where He can speak to us and we hear His voice.
KEY: The key is to walk closer and closer to God every day. Don’t let sin block your channel with God. Keep your heart hot and open to the voice of God and use these 7 filters and make sure it all lines up.
CONCLUSION:
1) Does it agree with the Bible?
2) Does it make me more like Jesus?
3) Does my church family confirm it?
4) Is it consistent with how God has shaped me?
5) Does it concern my responsibility?
6) Is it convicting rather than condemning?
7) Do I sense God’s peace about it?
Resources: John R. Rice Study Bible; Illustrations by Sermon Central; Rick Warren’s Pastors.com
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The Most High God: “Wants to Talk to You”

Most High God Sermon Series

Click here to watch this sermon while following along below!
Text: Luke 8:4-15
INTRODUCTION: One of the basic truths of Christianity is that GOD SPEAKS TO PEOPLE. All through scripture we read “thus saith the Lord”. God wants a personal relationship with us and that involves communication.
PROBLEM: Communication is often misunderstood. EXAMPLE: Husbands and wives either don’t hear or misunderstand. So, if we have difficulty with our spouse that we live with and can speak to face to face, wouldn’t you expect there to be some times difficulty in communicating with God?
DANGER: Those who run around and talk about how “God told me…” all the time and leave the idea that they always have a clear word from God. The truth is a lot of stupid things have been done in the name of God.
FACT: A lot of people think Pastors always have a direct line to God and always understand exactly what God is saying. The truth is we struggle just like you in hearing God speak. Now there are times without a doubt we hear God speak as He leads us and confirms His thoughts by His Word.
NOTE: The key to hearing God speak is attitude! Understand God wants to speak to you and you can hear Him if you will tune in.
Luke 8:8 …He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
EXAMPLE: This room is filled with radio waves. They are even going through our bodies but we don’t hear them because we aren’t tuned in. God may be trying to speak to you right now but your reception is turned off or fuzzy.
THE SOWER IS GOD: THE SEED IS THE WORD: THE SOIL IS MY MIND

NOTE: In the Middle East at that time they would broadcast the seed. They would throw it from side to side and it would fall on all types of soil. So Jesus uses a common practice of the people to teach them about their attitude in hearing God speak.

There are 4 kinds of attitudes represented by 4 types of soil. The kind of attitude you have determines your ability to hear God speak to you. These are not 4 different kinds of people, but 4 kinds of attitudes. We can even vary in our attitudes from time to time, from being very open to being very closed.
I. CULTIVATE AN OPEN MIND: (Vv. 5, 12)
* What I am talking about is not an audible voice but an impression in your mind that you know is from God, because it agrees with the Word of God.
*I have to want to hear from God or He will not be able to speak to me, and if my mind is closed off then God can’t get through to me.
Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
NOTE: The “way side” is the area in the field that has been used as a path to walk on. That is why it is very hard and narrow and would not be fertile or prepared to receive seed.
THE WAY SIDE (HARD PATH) REPRESENTS A CLOSED MIND:
*God sows the seed but it doesn’t connect with the soil because it isn’t prepared to receive seed. It is hard, closed off, and narrow. It is like someone who has already made up their minds and nothing will change that.

WHAT CAUSES A CLOSED MIND?

1. PRIDE: We think we don’t need God. We can run our lives ok without His interference. I will make my own decisions. I don’t need to pray.
God can’t say anything to us because our minds are closed. This is PRIDE.
2. FEAR: We are afraid of what He might say to us. He might ask us to do something we don’t want to do.
He might tell us something we don’t want to hear.
He might ask us to do something we don’t think we can do.
We are afraid if we do what God tells us to do it will take all of our freedom and fun away so we don’t’ pray.
3. BITTERNESS: We have experienced hurt in our lives and we blame God for it. Why did He allow it to happen? He is supposed to be a loving and caring and all powerful God. So why did He let this happen?
NOTE: We aren’t in Heaven yet. We are still on this earth and on this earth there is a lot of pain and suffering. See God gives all of us a free will to choose how we behave. Some choose to do wrong things and as a result innocent people suffer. God allows people to make bad choices. So when people hurt us we blame God and when we do we close our minds and hearts off from God.
1) Lose a loved one, 2) Verbal, emotional, physical abuse, 3) Molestation or rape, 4) betrayal of a spouse, 5) hurt from another Christian or a church; Don’t blame God for what people do.
QUESTION: Where was God when my son died? The same place He was when His Son died on the Cross.
TRUTH: We aren’t promised to be exempt from pain but I promise you He hurts when we hurt. So don’t run from God when you hurt, run to Him. If you run from Him, you are running from the only person who can help you.
The way side, hardened path is unfruitful. It produces a bitter and wasted life.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Let God love you! Drop all your defenses and open your mind and heart to God.
II. ALLOCATE TIME TO LISTEN: (Vv. 6, 13)
“If we are to hear God speak to us we need to slow down and schedule our times with God.” We schedule vacations, trips, dates, etc. but do we plan time to hear God speak to us?
*We are in such a rush to our next assignment or project. If God wants to speak to us, He better do it quick. The result, we don’t hear God speak.
Luke 8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Matthew 13:5-6 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
*THE ROCK/STONY PLACES (SHALLOW SOIL) REPRESENT A SUPERFICIAL MIND.
NOTE: This is not soil with rocks in it. In the Middle East, much of the land has top soil only 3-4 inches deep over a bedrock of limestone.
Plants can grow initially but there isn’t enough soil to produce a root system so when the heat comes it dies because of lack of soil & moisture.
So this superficial mind allows the word to sprout up, we get all excited but it doesn’t last. Problems come and we fall away. There is no change in our lives.
FACT: We forget 90% of what we hear in 72 hours. By Wednesday you won’t remember but 10% of what I am preaching unless you write it down and read it again later and then act on what you have learned. That’s why we give you notes.
“The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory.”
ILLUSTRATION: I go to conferences and read books and articles to continue to learn but if I don’t act on what I am learning and write it down, I lose it.
EXAMPLE: How many of us believe the 10 Commandments? How many can name them? You can’t live them if you can’t name them. You are not retaining and are having to relearn because you are not writing it down and acting on it.
NOTE: “They received the Word with joy…but have no root.” You can be thrilled about something and not be transformed. You can be a Christian for 30 years and not have 30 years of learning and growing. You can start off great and not finish what you started. Enthusiasm is not enough. It takes commitment to grow and live out the truth we have learned. Why would God give us new truth if we haven’t lived out the old truth He has taught us?
III. ELIMINATE THE DISTRACTIONS: (Vv. 7, 14)
* We are so preoccupied by our daily living, careers, goals, bills, worries, etc. that our minds are so full we don’t give God a chance to speak to us.
ILLUSTRATION: Like making a call and the lines are busy. They are currently being used for someone or something else.
Luke 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
*THE THORNS (SOIL WITH WEEDS) REPRESENT A PREOCCUPIED MIND:
*Seed sprouts up but is choked before it can mature and make fruit.
FACT: God has a plan and a purpose for our lives but if we are preoccupied with others things we can’t get direction from God. Jesus tells us of 3 types of weeds that distract our lives.
THREE TYPES OF WEEDS
1. CARES: (WORRIES)
*These cares are the daily problems and pressures of life.
* “Cares” = Greek word means to be pulled in different directions. That is the Biblical definition of worry.
* You can’t pray and worry at the same time. Worry distracts us.
2. RICHES:
*Idea of being so busy to make a living we forget to live. We get in a routine of working so hard to have things we are exhausted when it comes time to hear God speak to us. We are too busy to hear Him in the morning and too tired to hear Him in the evening.
3. PLEASURES:
NOTE: There is nothing wrong with pleasures. God gave us senses in order to enjoy pleasure. The problem comes when we are so preoccupied with having fun, we forget God.
1) Recreation takes the place of Worship and Bible Study.
2) While on vacations, we skip our quiet time with God.
3) There are so many things in our lives, like relationships, responsibilities, and activities that God gets crowded out of our lives.
DEFINITION: “A weed is anything that distracts me from making time to be with God.”
ILLUSTRATION: Have you ever noticed that weeds don’t require cultivation or watering? Flowers, on the other hand, require a lot of effort in order to grow. You have to water them, trim them, & fertilize them or they will not grow.
Weeds are a sign of neglect. So to have weeds in our lives, all we have to do is neglect time with God, worship services, Bible Studies, and fellowship with other Christians and the weeds will grow up immediately.
STORY: Our Missionary to South Africa, Henni Venter’s wife wrote in our ladies devotional how the people would wear a path to their place of prayer and Bible reading. If they neglected their prayer and Bible reading, weeds would grow back up in the path.
IV. COOPERATE WITH WHAT GOD SAYS: (V. 15)
*If you want God to talk to you, you have to be committed to obeying what He says. You can’t have God speak and then decide if you will do it or not. God talks to people who will do what He tells them to do. It is the attitude that I will obey God whether I understand it or not, or whether it makes sense or not. God wants only the best for me and I know I can trust Him.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
* “Keep it” = they not only hear the Word; they obey the Word. The result is a productive life.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
*THE GOOD GROUND REPRESENTS A WILLING HEART:
* You are willing to do whatever God says even before He says it. I want to hear God speak to me so I can do what He wants me to do with my life.
ILLUSTRATION: If I could take a spiritual brain scan today on your brain what would we find?
1) Would you have a closed mind? Would fear, pride or bitterness be keeping your mind closed?
2) Would you have a superficial mind? Would you be shallow in your commitment? Would you be lacking in substance and transformation and carry through?
3) Would you have a preoccupied mind? Would cares and riches and pleasures have you so preoccupied that you have no room or time for God to speak to you?
4) Would you have a willing mind? Would you be willing to do what He tells you to do? Would you want His plan and purpose for your life?
CONCLUSION: The devil will try and steal the seed of God’s Word that has been sown in your life today.
Here is how to keep that from happening. Begin to live out what you have learned today.
1) Start a daily quiet time with God. Begin reading or listening to the Word of God. Begin praying for yourself and your family and for others daily.
2) Make worship and Bible Study an every week experience. Guard your Sundays. Use your Sunday nights to grow deeper in learning the Word of God.
3) Begin to get involved in a ministry and start helping others and using what you are learning.

 

Resources: John R. Rice Study Bible; Illustrations by Sermon Central; Rick Warren’s Pastors.com
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