“The Prayer That God Hears”
Psalm 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
I. The Prayer that Honours – vs. 1-12
A. His Doings – vs. 3a, 5 he is terrible in his doing
God likes to be recognized for what He has done.
B. His Dominion – vs. 3b, 7 thine enemies shall submit themselves unto thee
C. His Deliverance – vs. 10-12 but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place
David recognized that the trials, the suffering, the afflictions and the fire was ordained of God.
Deliverance of God produced a purification (as silver that is tried) and a prize (a wealthy place)
- Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
II. The Prayer that is Honest – vs. 13-17
A. David was Honest in his Will – we see his will described 5 times
He didn’t say “I will” and then change his mind! He acted on his inward desires and will to do right.
B. David was Honest in his Words – vs. 13b, 14
Don’t expect to get your prayers heard if you have made promises and vows (when you were in trouble) and then failed to follow through on those promises
C. David was Honest in his Worship – vs. 15-17
1. Notice his Priority – vs. 13a, 15
a. Fatlings – not the weak, the frail, the dying, the sick; but the best!
2. Notice his Praying – vs. 15 – with the incense of rams; an aromatic offering to God
3. Notice his Portion – vs. 15 – the bullocks with goats; along with the fatlings and rams
(no shortcuts; no holding back; he was thorough in his sacrificing)
4. Notice his Praise – vs. 1, 2, 16, 17 I will declare; he was extolled with my tongue
III. The Prayer that is Holy – vs. 18-20
A. David had Confessed his Iniquity – vs. 18 if I regard iniquity in my heart, he will not hear me
- Prov. 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
B. David had Confidence in God’s Interest – vs. 19 he hath attended to the voice of my prayer
- 1 John 3:21, 22 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
- 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
C. David was Confident in God’s Intervention – vs. 19, 20 which hath not turned away my prayer
- Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
That The World May Know
Intro: Three times in this prayer, Jesus acknowledges that those of us that are saved DO KNOW.
See verse 7, 8 and 25
It was His desire in verse 18 when He sent us into the world that we would take what we know to be truth to those who do not know. It is God’s will for us to share with the world “That they may know”…
I. Through Our Lifestyle – vs. 15-19
A. Separated Lifestyle – vs. 15, 16
B. Scriptural Lifestyle – vs. 17
C. Sanctified Lifestyle – vs. 19
II. Through Our Lips
A. We see the Past Word – vs. 26
B. We see the Persistent Word – vs. 26b
C. We see the Propagated Word – vs. 20 …they shall believe through their word:
III. Through Our Love – vs. 23, 26b
IV. Through Our Liberality
NOTE: The word “gave” is used in some form or tense at least 17 times in this chapter.
- God gave his power – vs. 2
- God gave eternal life – vs. 2
- God gave a work to do – vs. 4
- God gave men – vs. 6
- God gave all things – vs. 7
- God gave his word – vs. 8, 14
- God gave glory – vs. 22
NOTE: Everything that God gave to His Son, His Son gave to us. It is God’s will for us to then pass what He has given us on to those that do not know.
It is impossible for us to have the love described in verse 26 without having the desire to give that they had.
Until They Know
Intro: Before ascending back to the Father, Jesus gathered his disciples on the mountain and left them with some extremely important responsibilities.
A. We have the Power – all power; not ours, but His – see Acts 1:8
B. We have the Plan – witness, soul-win, baptize, disciple new converts
C. We have the Promise – lo, I am with you alway
Obviously,the end of the world has not come yet. We are still expected to operate on the final instructions of the Lord Jesus
Christ until that time comes. There is still a world, dying and going to a Christ-less eternity. It is our problem! It is our duty as Christians to do something about it.
Until they know…
I. We Have to Pray
A. For the World to be Saved
- John 17:18-21 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into
the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be
sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also
which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as
thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that
the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
“I used to think that prayer should have the first place and teaching the second.
I now feel it would be truer to give prayer the first, second and third places
and teaching the fourth.” – James O. Fraser
“If you are sick, fast and pray; if the language is hard to learn, fast and pray;
if the people will not hear you, fast and pray, if you have nothing to
eat, fast and pray.” – Frederick
“Brother, if you would enter that Province, you must go forward on your knees.” - J. Hudson Taylor
B. For Workers to be Sent
- Matthew 9:37, 38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is
plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the
harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
“The saddest thing one meets is a nominal Christian. I had not seen it in Japan
where missions is younger. The church here is a “field full of wheat
and tares.” – Amy Carmichael
“What are we here for, to have a good time with Christians or to save sinners?”
- Malla Moe
“I tell you, brethren, if mercies and if judgments do not convert you, God has no other arrows in His quiver.” – Robert Murray M’Cheyne
“The command has been to “go,”
but we have stayed – in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to
be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth…But 99% of Christians have
kept puttering around in the homeland.”
- Robert Savage
“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what
I’ve done for China…I don’t know who it was…It must have been a man…a well-educated
man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t
willing…and God looked down…and saw Gladys Aylward…And God said – “Well,
she’s willing.” Gladys Aylward (turned
down by the China Inland Mission for her lack of education)
“And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as
missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives…and
when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to
show for the years they have wasted.” – Nate Saint
“Some wish to live within the sound of a
chapel bell, I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.”
– C.T. Studd
II. We Have to Preach
A. Missions to the Saints
“Jehovah Witnesses don’t believe in hell and neither do most Christians” – Leonard Ravenhill
“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.”
Not called!” did you say? “Not
heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible,
and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear
down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful
wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you
to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants
and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy
you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and
soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.
- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army
“I have seen, at different times, the smoke of a thousand villages – villages whose people are without Christ,
without God, and without hope in the world.” – Robert Moffat
“A tiny group of believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves.
Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of
eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.” – K.P. Yohannan
“We talk of the second coming, half the world has never heard of the first.” – Oswald J. Smith
“Answering a student’s question, ‘Will the heathen who have not heard the Gospel be saved?’ thus, ‘It is more a
question with me whether we who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those
who have not, can be saved.’ “ – C.H.
Spurgeon (note: this man was a Calvinist, yet believed in soul-winning!)
B. Message to the Sinner
- Luke 24:46, 47 And
said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and
to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
1. The Sufferings of the Savior – vs. 46 and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
2. The Sin of the Sinner – vs. 47
- Remission of Sin
Missions without repentance and dealing with sin is unscriptural.
NOTE: Billy Graham’s watered down gospel of “just believe” won’t get the job done!
III. We Have to Pay
- II Cor. 8:1-4 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God
bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction
the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of
their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their
power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we
would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to
Notice this church – begging the missionary to take the gift!
Today, it’s the missionary begging the church to give!!!
What is missing today? The answer is in verse 5 –
“And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the
Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me
to make for Him.” C.T. Studd
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
For God so loved the world, that he GAVE…
Our giving and our love for God are directly related. They can’t go if we don’t give to missions.
Stay Out of the Ditch
Prov. 4:26, 27 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
Intro: This afternoon, I looked out of my window and saw an incident that prompted this message. We had ordered 100 bales of hay for our horses from a black man named Harold, but everybody calls him “Cowboy”. He shoes our horses, helps us with the training and brings us hay. He was running late. I was in my bedroom and heard a racket out by the road. I looked and Cowboy had gotten his trailer loaded down with hay stuck in the ditch, trying to turn in my driveway. The minute I saw him, this message came to my mind. I sat down and while everybody else jumped into action to help this poor guy, I began writing down some things that happen to people when they get stuck in a ditch.
Several times in the Scripture we find the word “ditch” mentioned. It simply refers to a pit or a deep hole. Notice how the word “ditch” is described in the Word of God.
A. Hard to stay clean – Job 9:30, 31
B. Hinders your rest (and your worship) – Luke 14:3-5
C. A Harlot is described as a deep ditch – Prov. 23:27
D. Helping people is impossible – Luke 6:39
As I looked out my window, I received instruction (Prov. 7:6, 7) When You’re In A Ditch…
I. The Place is Harsh
The reason people get in ditches is because the ground is uneven, it’s rugged, it’s precarious, it’s not “fair”.
I’ve seen people get in ditches spiritually and emotionally because they got caught up in a controversy, a debate, or a time of hurt, pain, suffering or discouragement. They began to react in a wrong way and it becomes a cycle; they get “bogged down”.
Life is not fair. As one man said, “A fair is where you take your pig to get a blue ribbon!” There are opportunities to get in a ditch everywhere. You have to remain SOBER and VIGILANT!
II. The Progress is Halted
I watched ole Cowboy with that big truck sitting stranded in that ditch, and I realized that when you get in a ditch, it halts your progress. You aren’t going anywhere! That ditch has now overpowered you and has prevented you from moving on.
I’ve seen Christians get hurt, get bogged down in an emotional or spiritual ditch, and never grow, never move on, never progress for the Lord.
When God reveals his truth, or gives you light about something and you refuse to obey, you get “hung up” over a doctrine or a Biblical principle that you should obey, and you don’t obey, you will never move forward. Ever!
III. The People are Hindered
I watched car after car slow down and some even stopped as Cowboy had the road almost blocked with his rig. People that were having no trouble moving on, experiencing progress in their life now suddenly became affected and became a casualty by this one man’s inability to avoid the ditch!
Paul talked about becoming a “stumblingblock” as a Christian. Rom. 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
I’ve seen preachers get bitter, and then that root of bitterness cause them to lash out at people from the pulpit. I’ve seen church members get bitter and get in a ditch and start back-biting, gossipping, sowing discord, and hinder everybody around them.
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
When I looked at the ditch this evening on the way to church, it was scarred, torn up, deep ruts and mud everywhere, spinnout marks where Cowboy got stuck and tried to get out. Everybody that passes by can tell that somebody ran into the ditch right there.
God forbid that getting in a ditch causes our children, our wife, our husband, our church to be scarred and messed up for life and when people see them they recognize that they have become a casualty because somebody couldn’t stay out of the ditch!
Conclusion: Stay out of the ditch. Watch the road! And if you’re in the ditch, call for help. God can pull you out of there so you can get back to doing what you’re supposed to be doing!
If you’re in the ditch, don’t just sit there! Throw out some flares, wave your hands, find somebody that is NOT in the ditch and ask them to hook up with you and use their power combined with your power to get you out!
David said in Psalm 40:1, 2 …and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
David said, “I was in a ditch – a bad one! But I cried out to God, he pulled me out of the ditch, and put me back on the road so I could go somewhere and do something for Him!! AMEN!
Called To Contend
Jude 1:3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Intro: In these last days, there’s a cry from every corner for unity, fellowship, lack of friction, and the raising of divisive issues. It all sounds so good, but there’s only one problem – it is not Biblical! The proponents for this ‘let’s all just get along’ philosophy has NO idea what true unity involves. In fact, they don’t know anything, if their knowledge is as shallow as their ambition. Let’s examine what the Scripture tells us about this matter of contending and our involvement in it.
I. Contending Involves a Family – unto you of the common salvation
A. Only born again believers are commanded to contend!
B. Only born again believers can contend!
C. Only born again believers care enough to contend!
II. Contending Involves a Fervency – it was needful for me to write unto you
A. There is opposition to the gospel – do you care?
B. There are deniers of the faith – do you care?
C. There are heresies and false religions sending millions to hell – do you care?
III. Contending Involves a Fight – that ye should earnestly contend
A. Contending is a command; it is your duty!
B. Contending is not casual or complacent – it must be done earnestly!
C. Contending is a conflict with people and ideas and philosophies – it often causes pain
IV. Contending Involves a Faith – for the faith once delivered unto the saints
A. There were others before us that contended and were martyred for their faith.
B. This faith that was delivered was entrusted to us to preserve and propagate.
C. We are obligated to uphold for our children what our forefathers passed down.
V. Contending Involves False Brethren – certain men crept in unawares
A. They creep in unawares – you can’t tell who they are when they first arrive
B. They have an agenda from Satan – who were before ordained
C. They show their colors by condemning Bible believers – to this condemnation
D. They are ungodly men – men with no fear of God
E. They pervert the grace of God
F. They deny God and His Word.
Conclusion: What are you going to do about it? Are you going to defend and answer the opposition? Or are you going to sit idly by while the devils ‘certain men’ continue to creep in and condemn and pervert the faith that was once delivered unto the saints???
“When He Prayed”
Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Intro: Several times in this book we see Job praying.
A. He prayed for his children – 1:5 – a prayer of intervening
B. He prayed in his confusion – 10:2, 15 – a prayer of ignorance
C. He prayed a confession – 42:1-6 – a prayer of insight (but now mine eye seeth thee)
But I want to look at the prayer he prayed in 42:10 for his companions – a prayer of intercession
Three specific things happened here when he prayed.
I. His Captivity was Reversed
Interestingly enough, he went from being a captive of the Lord (1:10 a hedge) to being a captive of:
A. His Foe – 1:12 all that he hath is in thy power; 2:6 Behold, he is in thine hand
B. His Finances – for the first time in his life, he had financial problems
C. His Fear
- Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
D. His Friends – 36:1, 2 he has become a captive audience to his three friends
But when he prayed, God turned again the captivity. God put the hedge back up around him!
God started getting defensive; God started fighting his battles for him; God turned the tide!
II. His Companions were Rebuked
A. They were Miserable in their Comfort – 16:2
B. They were Mistaken in their Condemnation – 32:1-3
C. They were Misleading in their Counsel – 42:7, 8 ye have not spoken that which is right
III. His Compassion was Rewarded
He WAS NOT rewarded for his:
- Character (1:1) perfect, feared God and eschewed evil
- Commitment (1:21) Blessed be the name of the Lord
- Conduct (1:22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly
- Communication (2:10) in all this did not Job sin with his lips
- Contrition (42:6) I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes
He was rewarded for his Compassion – when he prayed for his friends.
His forbearance; his forgiving spirit; his merciful attitude; his love for his friends and his prayer for them is what God said brought about this dramatic transformation in his life.
Conclusion: Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Vs. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great,
Seeing Jesus Only
Matthew 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
Intro: People today are having a hard time seeing the Lord. There’s too much going on, too much competition and too many people and things clamoring for attention. TheInner Circle in this story finally got to the place where they saw no man, except Jesus. How did this come about? Here are some steps you and I can take to keep Jesus the main attraction in our lives.
I. Resurrection – vs. 1 “And after six days, Jesus…bringeth them up…”
This is a picture of salvation because:
a. After six days, they were entering into His rest.
* they even slept in the Luke account
b. He raised them up to sit together in heavenly places.
c. He was the one that did it; they didn’t go up by themselves. (not by works!)
II. Separation – vs. 1 “…apart…” He took them OUT OF THE WORLD!
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
You can see him, when “the things of this earth grow strangely dim…”
When you get your eyes off of the fun, the fashions, the fads, the foolishness of this world, you are opening up a grand opportunity to feast your eyes on something that really matters!
III. Transfiguration – vs. 2 “…and was transfigured…”
Their perception of Jesus CHANGED! They saw him in a different light!
To the world, he was despised and rejected; to them, he was beautiful!
To the world, the OT Tabernacle was ugly with badgers skins on the outside, but on the inside, it was decorated with gold and embroidered works and scarlet and blue and purple….
You’ll never see Jesus only until you see him like He really is!!!
- Instead of seeing a God to fear, you see a God that wants to be your Friend.
- Instead of seeing a God that wants you to serve, you see a God that you want to serve.
- Instead of seeing a God that complicates your life, you see a God that makes life worth living.
- Instead of seeing a God that demands your best, you see a God that deserves your best.
- Instead of seeing a God that hinders your plans, you see a God that holds your plans.
- Instead of seeing a God that asks you to sacrifice, you see a God that sacrificed for you
IV. Association – vs. 3 “there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.”
A major obstacle to people seeing Jesus only is the people they associate with.
Having the right kind of friends will help you see Jesus the way He really is.
After spending some time with Jesus and HIS friends, they didn’t see their friends anymore!! So who are Jesus’ friends?
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
A good way to get in a place to see Jesus only is to find people that are already talking to Him and He is talking to them.
Finding friends that have a prayer life and walk with God is vital to staying on track with God.
V. Exhilaration – vs. “…Lord, it is good for us to be here…”
You’ll never see the Lord if you’re always wanting to be somewhere else!!
- Psalms 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
VI. Motivation – vs. 4 “… let us make here three tabernacles…”
a. To Work – building three tabernacles would require some serious effort!
b. To Witness – the tabernacles would be a constant reminder of the experience
c. To Worship – they were prepared to do some serious worshipping!!
VII. Illumination – vs. 5 “…a bright cloud overshadowed them…”
The light came on so to speak; They saw things in a different “light”.
They received illumination concerning:
a. His Person – confirmation that Jesus was exactly who He had said he was!
b. His Pleasure – they learned that God was only pleased with what Jesus did
c. His Proclamations – they realized that what Jesus said was the Word of God!
VIII. Humiliation – vs. 6 “…they fell on their face and were sore afraid.”
QUOTE: “The secret to seeing His face is spending time on yours.”
- James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Illustration: Daddy, what is humility? My 9 year old daughter asked me this morning on the way home from church. My answer was, “When you are little in your own eyes.”
- 1 Samuel 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
- Pride hinders the blessings of God
- Pride hinders your joy in Jesus
- Pride blinds us to His true being.
- Pride robs us of the delight we can experience when we submit to His will.
IX. Realization – vs. 6 And Jesus came and touched them…
This wasn’t just a religion; a system of beliefs or a church’s idea. He was real!
This was GOD, and He was real. They felt His touch on them personally.
When they realized all of that, they didn’t see anybody else!!
Conclusion: I personally believe that the secret to living for God and staying faithful to Him is having a personal experience when you see no man – save Jesus only. It will forever change your life. Ask God to remove all of the distractions in your heart, your mind and ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a powerful, personal way. You will never be the same.
“The Drawbacks of Payback”
What the Bible Says About Vengeance
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Intro: Vengeance is a word we are all familiar with; whether we realize it or not.
We have all seen children get hurt playing with other children, and then go out of their way to inflict the same hurt or pain on the one that “caused” them to get hurt.
The Definition of Vengeance: The infliction of pain on another, in return for an injury or offense. Such infliction, when it proceeds from malice or more resentment, and is not necessary for the purposes of justice, is revenge, and a most heinous crime. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Explain the difference between Vengeance; Justice (Rom.13:1-4) and Self-Defense – (Luke 22:35-38)
The First mention Principle:
Genesis 4:15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
What we can learn about God’s perspective on Vengeance from the First Mention Principle:
- Vengeance isn’t justified – no matter how serious the offence. (in this case; murder)
- Vengeance is a serious offense to God – worthy of 7-fold punishment
- God will go out of His way to protect the victim of vengeance; not the one doing it
I. God’s Restriction – Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
- 1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
- Proverbs 26:27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
- Ecclesiastes 10:8He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
II. God’s Requirement – but rather give place unto wrath
- Give place – to give something to someone; to grant, give to one asking, let have (Casting all your care upon him…)
- Wrath – anger, the natural disposition, temper, character movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger
- Luke 6:27-31 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
- Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil;
- Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
III. God’s Responsibility – Vengeance is mine;
- Psalms 94:1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
- Deuteronomy 32:35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence;
- Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
IV. God’s Recourse – I will repay, saith the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 32:35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
- Deuteronomy 32:41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
The Drawbacks of Payback
1. Living a Life of Disobedience – no matter how you slice it; vengeance is unscriptural and un-Christlike. How can we profess to be “Bible believers” and call the Bible our “Final Authority for all matters of faith and PRACTICE” if we act like heathens and treat people in a way that is contrary to Scripture??
Question: What exactly is it you want to happen to those that have hurt you? Do you want to see them in a car wreck? In a hospital? Standing in a funeral home over the body of a family member? What do you want God to do to them? Strike them dead? Make them sick? See their home broken up? Their kids fall into the world? Them get out of church? What is it exactly that you want to happen to them??? Are you crazy? How carnal can you be? How grieved God must be to see His children living a life of disobedience!
2. Living a Life of Defilement – Heb. 12:15 – when vengeance is oozing out of your pores, it defiles everybody around you. Your bitterness and vengeance becomes your defining quality. It affects everybody.
3. Living a Life of Distraction – Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields. Why did Christ say that? Because we are always looking at ourselves; our hurts, our pain, our needs, our wants, our problems, and don’t look at the world around us.
Conclusion: Bottom line – let it go, and let God sort it out. Spend your time doing something constructive. Like making things right in your own life!!
THE ONLY POSITIVE USAGE OF THE WORD VENGEANCE:
- 2 Corinthians 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
FINAL POINT TO MAKE: Nobody in the world causes your more problems, more heartaches, more frustration, more conflict than YOURSELF! So turn your attention to your own faults and failures; get yourself right with God and quit focusing on making everybody around you pay for what they’ve done when you are your own worst enemy!!
Alternate Title: “It’s Time To Get Out the Bushhog!”
Proverbs 24:30-3430 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
Intro: We live in a lazy society. Most American’s are obese and out of shape. About one-third ofU.S. adults (33.8%) are obese. Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. The statistics forSouth Carolina is that 31.5% of the people are obese. Statistics prove that half of American’s do not exercise at all on a regular basis (30 minutes – 3 times a week)
- Proverbs 26:14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
- Proverbs 26:15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
One out of 6 Americans are on welfare. Over 40 million are on food stamps.
Convenience is the name of the game; pay at the pump keeps us from walking into the store. Drive thru restaurants, drive thru banking, drive thru ATMs, drive thru car washes – all to keep us from having to get out of our seat.
Christianity today is plagued with lazy people. Too lazy to pray, too lazy to study, too lazy to give, too lazy to witness, too lazy to sing, too lazy to go the altar, too lazy to visit shut-ins, too lazy to work in a ministry.
Too lazy to work on their marriage, to train their children, to create a godly home, to deal with issues in the home, to get involved in the lives and situations of the family members, to work and provide for their family, to pay their bills, wash their car, cut their grass, weed their flowerbeds, clean the house, wash the dishes, etc.
Too lazy to maintain a personal relationship with Christ, to search our own hearts, to confess and repent of sin, to get right with God and work at staying right with Him.
The Bible speaks a lot about slothfulness.
I. The Testimony of the Slothful – vs. 30
A. Slothfulness is Apathy
- Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
People’s problem is not a lack of DIRECTION; but a lack of DESIRE.
Pulling weeds is not complicated; but it is work!
It’s not a matter of WHAT to do, but WANTING TO
B. Slothfulness is Apparent
A slothful person cannot hide their sinful condition. It’s obvious to everybody that passes by.
Dirty fingernails, wrinkled clothes, unpolished shoes, uncombed hair, these are things that are hard to hide!
Same with untrained children, uninvolved in ministry, unconcerned for others – its obvious!
C. Slothfulness is Academic – vs. 32 – I saw it and received instruction
Imagine living your life as an example of what NOT to be! Being an illustration of slothfulness.
II. The Tragedy of the Slothful – vs. 32
A. It Corrupts the Vineyard – vs. 30
This vineyard could be a picture of:
1. Your home and your marriage
- Psalms 128:3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
3. Your church – Isaiah 5:1-5; the house of God requires a husbandman that will pull the weeds; deal with sin; confront wickedness; judgment must begin at the house of God
4. Your personal walk with God – I Cor. 3:9 …ye are God’s husbandry…
B. It Cancels the Value
- Song of Solomon 1:6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
C. It Creates a Vulnerability
The stone wall; a symbol of separation; safety; security; stability; is broken down.
Whether it’s your yard or your prayer life; if you get slothful; you will have a crisis on your hands.
III. The Truths of the Slothful – vs. 31-34
A. Laziness is Unintentional – vs. 33 It starts out in baby steps. Nobody plants weeds! They just show up!
Law of Thermodynamics – The most probable state for any natural system is one of disorder. All natural systems degenerate when left to themselves.
- Proverbs 6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
- Proverbs 24:33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
B. Laziness is Unrewarding – so shall thy poverty come
Quote: Failure is not our only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others.
- Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
- Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster
C. Laziness is Unquenchable – thy want as an armed man. It doesn’t get better.
Just as a fighting man gets thirstier and hungrier and eventually must stop fighting in order to meet that need, laziness will never be satisfied with more laziness.
It might be time for you to get out the bushhog and start dealing with the weeds, the thorns, the thistles and the briars that you have let invade your life; your prayer closet, your quiet time, your marriage, your child training, your witness, your mind, your heart and your testimony. Get rid of the junk and keep it out!!
- Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
- Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Riches of His Grace
Intro: The Scripture is filled with references to the “riches” of Christ.
- Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
- 1 Corinthians 4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich,
- 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
As believers, we are blessed with the wonderful access to the blessings and riches of Christ. Notice the references in Ephesians alone:
- Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
- Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
- Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
- Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
- Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
- Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.
Because of His riches, we “have obtained an inheritance…” 1:11
We are a witness of the Riches of His Grace because of…
I. The Price He Gave for Me – vs. 13 …by the blood of Christ
- Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
- Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
I may not look like much, but God paid for me with the most priceless thing He could – the sinless, spotless blood of His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ.
- Romans 5: 6-10 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
II. The Pardon He Gave Me – vs. 15 …having abolished in his flesh the enmity
- Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Old Testament Analogies:
- Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
- Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
- Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
New Testament Truth:
- John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
III. The Person He Gave Me – vs. 18 …by His Spirit …
The same Person that moved upon the face of the waters in Gen. 1 – lives within me!!
The same Person that raised Jesus from the dead was given to me!!!
1:13 – we were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance
- 2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
- 2 Corinthians 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
- 1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
- 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
IV. The People He Gave Me – vs. 19-22 …but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household…
He gave me the church; He made me a part of the household of God.
I’m being fitly framed together with the people of God; on the foundation of the apostles and prophets and the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ.
I’m rich because of the association that I have with the CHURCH!!!!
- Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. We are identified with the mighty saints of God listed in Hebrews 11!!
V. The Position He Gave Me – vs. 6 …made us sit together in heavenly places…
I’m rich because of the position that I already hold in the mind of Christ – I’m already in Heaven!