When we first came to the Lord, we didn’t understand everything, but what we did know was that we were being drawn by the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ, to place our utter dependence and trust in Him; no more to live for self and sin, but instead to live for Christ in righteousness The though was paralyzing—all we’d ever lived and known, in one moment was to be forsaken! Ah, but the time came when you crossed the bridge and found it to be a solid one!! You met with the Lord and tasted of His goodness and faithfulness! This was the beginning of a journey; one of faith and trust, and as you trace the years that you’ve now walked with the Saviour; there have been seasons since when God has brought you to the valley of seeming impossibility, and has said again, will you trust me?
There’s much emphasis in our day amongst certain circles regarding the observance of weekly sabbath. In the first half of this sermon, we address this issue and ask the question; are Christians obliged to keep the Law?
In the second half of this sermon, we turn to place our focus on the title, “God’s Provision in Man’s Obedience”. For six years God said for the Israelites to work the land – to sow, to reap, to gather and to prune. But in the seventh year, God said that they were to cease from their labour and allow the land a sabbath’s year of rest. Naturally, this flags up the question, if they were not allowed to sow or to reap, then what would they eat? Besides eating the produce that grew naturally of itself, God told the Israelites that if they would obey Him, then on the sixth year, He would bring produce in such abundance, that it would last them for three years!!! Brethren, this speaks to us today. If we will obey God in that which He has spoken, then He will meet our needs in supplying to us in abundance, blessings from His hands.
There are many ways to look upon a masterpiece of art. Each angle seems to shed a new perspective, as differing tones and hews are brought into fresh view with every studious stare. Far greater than any piece of art is the splendour of Almighty God—His many attributes leave a pause for wonder as man tries with his finite mind, to grasp after Him who is eternal!
Of all the attributes, there’s one attribute that holds a special place in my heart, for I know what manner of man I was, and even now after tasting of eternal life, how great a debtor daily I still am! What is this attribute? It is the mercy of God! “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Having been shown such great mercy by God, what manner of people ought we the children of God now to be? A people full of mercy towards others! How ready are you to forgive another who has wronged you? How willing are you to extend mercy? In the passing of judgment upon others, how much of it is mixed with mercy? May the Lord search all our hearts and bring us to place of greater mercy.
Jesus was clear when he said, that one of the characteristics of the last days is that the love of the most is going to wax cold on account of the increase in evil. What temperature is your heart registering in the measure of love? In the measure of kindness? In the measure of mercy? In the measure of compassion? In the measure of forgiveness? How soft are our hearts — are they like a tender piece of fresh chicken or are like a hardened piece of steak that has been left out in the sun? What a challenge, to keep them soft and tender in the days in which we’re living.
My precious Brethren, I want to exhort you as much as I want to exhort myself this morning; “...brethren, be not weary in well doing” (2 Thess. 2:13) —do not lose heart, do not lose courage, do not become faint in doing well!! “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
The conscience of man has been likened by some to a living organ. Like all organs, the conscience has a primary function; the primary function of the heart is to pump blood around the body, the kidneys remove waste products and excess fluids from the body; the liver helps break down food in digestion and rids the body of toxins. The primary function of the conscience is to sound to man objective and unaltering morality so as to point him in the way of righteousness. There are many similarities between a conscience and an organ, and perhaps chief among them is the ability to render corrupt and ineffective, that once-living organ through repeated abuse! Paul referred to a people who had seared their consciences. You say, how does one sear their conscience? Simple, just keep sinning against your better conscience, keep on ignoring its accusing voice and it will eventually cease to work!!
It’s one thing to harden one’s heart against his conscience, but what happens when a man hardens his heart against the voice of God! What happens, when God the Holy Spirit brings conviction to bear in such a palpable and overwhelming manner such that you know that you know this is the voice of God and yet you choose to continue on in the sin God’s convicting you of? What happens, when God brings His written Word to bear in your hearts shedding revelatory light such that the cloak of sin is blown away and your sin is laid bare before you, and yet, you make excuses and take again the cloak of sin? I tell you what happens...God the Holy Spirit is grieved; the conscience is wounded and the heart is hardened. A word of warning goes out in this sermon, “Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts…”.
It never ceases to amaze me, how our great and awesome God takes the nothings of this world to confound and bring to naught the somethings of this world! God took a man by the name of Gideon and with 300 men, defeated the mighty army of the Midianites. God took a nothing man by the name of Abraham—an idolater from a far-away land—and made of him a great nation through which to bless the world!! God takes a nothing shepherd boy by the name of David and makes him a king!! God takes a Christian persecuting Pharisee by the name of Saul and made him an apostle of Jesus Christ. Biblical history proves that without a shadow of a doubt, the few with God make up the majority!
This sermon is an exhortation for the Body of Christ not to despise the day of small beginnings. Where two or three are gathered together, there the Lord is in the midst! Will we not give ourselves wholeheartedly to prayer; even the small meetings where few are present, as though there was a thousand present and see what God will do!!
According to NHS data, there has been a 28% increase in the number of hospital admissions for stress and anxiety in the past decade. Between, 2017 and 2018, there were 595,000 cases reported in the UK relating to work-based stress. However, it’s not just in the workplace, everywhere one look’s, people are under pressure. In one of the biggest surveys into the impact of stress; the results showed that three in four Britons have at least on one occasion over the last year (2018), been so stressed that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Undoubtedly, much of this stress and anxiety I’m sure can be alleviated by slowing down the pace but the fact of the matter is, some of it cannot be helped.
Where pressure increases, there must be an avenue for that pressure to escape; and the God-given means for the child of God, to bear the burdens given us by God is prayer!
It seems that almost every other month, another Christian in the position of leadership, jumps to a social media platform to announce to the world that they’re stepping down from ministry due to some moral failing; or in the case of the last two months, that they’re abandoning the faith altogether! Apostasy has always existed in the ranks of the fold and exhortations abound in the New Testament, calling us as believers to perseverance! What you ask, is the secret of enduring faith and victory? In one word, humility!! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:6-8).
Indeed, we are charged with the task with taking to arm us for the fight, the whole armour of God; but we must never forget who it is that is on our side, fighting for us. Our Lord instructed us to pray “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt. 6:13). This petition can so easily be overlooked at times and it is the purpose of this sermon to bring it back into fresh view. Will we not encourage ourselves in the Lord, to know that “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13)?
So often in our theology, we begin with man first and forget that the opening words before ever mention is made of man is; “In the beginning God…” God is the great first cause of all things. By Him and through His Word, the whole universe was brought into existence.
How often do we really seek counsel from the Lord for direction at life’s crossroads? How often do we consult Him and enquire of His counsel? In this sermon, we really bring home the need for a Word from God in season. God is faithful and delights in revealing His will! For the soul that seeks Him, standing on His promises; that soul shall never be disappointed. It matters not the mountain that stands before you; if God has spoken into the situation, what He has said, He will do! The question is, will we believe the Word of the Lord?
2 Chronicles 14
It seems that the hardest thing to get Christians to do today is to pray, and because there is no individual prayer life there is no corporate prayer life! The prayer closets of the average Christian are perpetually vacant and the Church prayer meeting has long been abandoned. I don’t know about you, but for me, this send’s the strongest possible message. If actions could speak (and they do); they would say in short; “WE DON’T NEED GOD!!”. What is prayer but in its simplest essence, making our requests known unto God. Yet here’s the irony; the man who does not feel his need, will not pray his need. The great urgency of the day is not to convince Christians to pray, but to convince them of their need to pray!!!
This sermon is a clarion call, for the Church to again discover the greatest weapon ever given it…prayer! In this day of great peril, who will be willing again to seek the Lord in prayer? Let us do so, not only individually, but also corporately, that we might see the hand of God again amongst us, doing exploits for His glorious name! We can do ALL things through prayer, and NOTHING without it.