David brings a very timely word to the Body of Christ that draws from the godly life of King Hezekiah. When Sennacherib came up against the defenced cities of Judah, taking them captive; he set his face towards Jerusalem and sent a messenger to Hezekiah to strike fear into the armies of Judah. How did Hezekiah respond in such an hour of trial? Where did he turn and in whom did place his trust?
May God speak to our hearts through this word so as to grant us understanding in knowing how to respond in times of trial.
Brothers and Sisters, I don’t know about you, but I carry in my heart a great burden as I witness first-hand the departing of a generation of Christian workers who in their day troubled the kingdom of darkness and wrought many mighty victories for the kingdom of light! These were men and women of commitment, sold to the cause of the advancement of the kingdom of God; men and women of sacrifice, men and women of faith and courage, who knew what it was to walk with their Lord. These were disciplined souls whose personal business mattered less to them than did the business of their Master who they served with wholeness of heart in sincerity, in obedience, and love. I know that they have gone ahead of us into glory—far better it is for them; but for us who are left behind and more importantly, for the Body of Christ as a whole; their passing is our great loss and we’re far the worse off for not having them still with us!! Now it ought to be that in the passing of a great soul, rising in their shadows are found others mounting up on eagles’ wings; seeking to build where one left off and to further to the work that they began. Yet, when I look to see the ones rising up to fill their shoes, I look in vain!
This sermon is a call and a cry, for Christian men and women to purpose in their hearts to give themselves wholly unto the Lord so as to live for Him in absolute devotion! When we do this, then I believe that we will witness again the sending forth of labourers in our day. Who will give themselves to the Master? Is there one?
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 8)
It seems an absurd question to ask, how one should read historical narrative since we do it intuitively all the time. In picking up a biography to read or a story in the newspaper, we are naturally handling material that would rightly be defined as historical narrative and yet we do it effortlessly without thinking. We pay close attention to the facts and the details - the dates and names, the places and characters. We all know the difference between facts and fiction and handle both accordingly. No one for a minute would take a novel like Alice and Wonderland and read it as they would a WW2 journal. One is fact and one is fiction. Whilst we can be inspired and entertained by fiction - learning very many valuable lessons - it is still at the end of the day fiction – it’s made-up, it’s not a faithful representation of historical fact but instead concerns itself with imaginary people and imaginary events. I’m sad to say, there are some, most notably those in liberal circles, who approach the Bible in this way. God creating the earth in six days! A global flood! Noah and the Ark! Jonah and a great fish! Virgin birth! Resurrection from the dead! Miracles and healings! Far from being taken as fact, at best these are embellishments to enhance the narrative and at worst fanciful stories (myths and legends) made up by the imaginations of men.
In this teaching, we look at the historicity of the Bible. Rather than giving a definitive how-to, we seek to give some cautionary pointers in approaching the historical narratives contained in the Bible and to clearly set out what these narratives are and are not. It is my hope that in doing this, it will help guard against the misuse of these passages and set a firm foundation upon which we may learn from the history recorded in the Bible so as to serve the Lord better in our day.
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The great predicament of man, is his pride and rebellion; stubbornness is what keeps Him from serving God—He can have it no other way than his own. Simply put, He refuses to have a God that will meddle with His affairs, and until that man is first broken, he will rise in newness of life. You know, the Church today has lost sight of the first and only ever presents to man the last. Come to Christ and see what He will do for you!! Yet, they do not tell them that entrance into this Kingdom is through a door of brokenness! “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Mt. 21:44). Tell me dear soul, have you known it on this wise? Do you know what it is to fall on that rock? May we indeed fall upon that rock that in falling we might rise again in newness of life.
Any true sportsman knows fully well that there’s more to winning than merely turning up! Turning up is the easy part; it’s the parts that the cheering fans don’t see that differentiates the winners from the losers. Persistent and relentless discipline; those countless hours spent in training. When those of their peers were free to do as they please—eating what they will and going where they would—the future champion in the making is not! Burdened with a fervent passion to succeed, against all odds and at all costs, he pushes his natural man to limits, exacting from his mortal body seeming impossibilities so as to win the prize.
With the self-same analogy, the Church of Jesus Christ must everywhere be given, not only to prayer but persistent prayer! If we would see the power of God in our day at work, let us give ourselves to this end and see what the Almighty will do!