Many know Eric Liddell for his world famous victory in the 400m in the Paris Summer Olympics of 1924. Yet fewer people remember Eric Liddell for what I consider to be an even greater feat. In July of 1923 before the eyes of an on-looking crowd, Liddell took to the starting line to compete in a quarter mile race. At the first bend tragedy struck as he tripped over the legs of another runner, falling off the track. Surely in the eyes of the masses his race was over, but for Eric it was not! By the time Liddell got back on his feet, the last of the runners was a whopping 30 yards out. Liddell with grit determination took to the track with such pace that within just 3 yards from the finishing line he overtook the lead runner to win the race!! Dear Brothers and Sisters, how do you respond after a spiritual fall?
This sermon is an encouragement for those who cannot seem to get up after a fall; bound by condemnation and guilt they can’t seem to rise back on their feet and carry on in the Christian race. Yet, there are some who after a fall seem content to wallow in the mud. To them this sermon serves as a rebuke and an exhortation to arise. The Lord is hand and His coming draws near; let us be found running in the race!!
1 Peter 1:1-9
Just as in the darkest night, tomorrow’s morn breaks it’s rays of sun, and just as in the fiercest storms, the blackened skies give way to crystal blue; so there’s hope dear Brethren for tomorrow’s morn!! Some are heavy under the trials of affliction and the burdens of the sorrows of tribulation; lose not hear dear Saint of God…there’s hope for tomorrow’s morn!!
This sermon in an exhortation and an encouragement to the body of Christ, to hold fast under trial. What is the foundation of the hope and the patient expectation of the Christian? Nothing less than the resurrection of Jesus Christ, from whence we look with absolute confidence to our sharing in His glory in the day when we shall be changed!! In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible…(1Co 15:52). Lose not heart dear soul; keep your eyes on the prize…Maranatha!!
There along the lush green banks of the river Jordan, hugging its meandering paths lie scores of reeds; their long slender stems and firm brush-like heads project above the water’s surface, swaying to and fro in the wind. These delicate plants, so prone to bruising, oftentimes lay bent over, its heavy head drooping, the shattered stems no longer able to support the weight. There are many such bruised reeds both inside and outside the Church. In the natural, a bruised reed was good for nothing and spelt its end!
In this sermon hope is brought to the listener in the person of the Servant of Isaiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He it is the prophet foretold, would come for the brokenhearted, to give them beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for the mourning. He it is, the good Shepherd of the sheep, binding up the broken, strengthening the sick and carrying the lame on His shoulders!! Be encouraged dear Saint...A bruised reed shall He not break!!
There exists a tragedy in our day…men are trying to do by natural means, that which only God can do by supernatural means! In today’s Christianity, numbers mean everything…Church buildings the size of large warehouses need to filled and thus the world’s methods of psychology and advertisement has come wholesale into the Church! Yet, Jesus said in speaking of the Holy Spirit, “…when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Jn. 16:8).
This sermon is an exhortation and an encouragement to believers to hold fast to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the God ordained means by which the Holy Spirit convicts men of sin and brings them to salvation. In a day where it seems that those who hold fast to truth are the losers, we must not lose heart!! Indeed the Spirit of God is still at work in saving men in our day; the wind blows where it so chooses and in like manner the Spirit of God is moving here and there in the saving of souls. We must remain close to Jesus and He will lead us where to cast our nets!!
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
There are myriads of things for which we have reason to praise our wonderful God! When we think of the awesome wonders of creation; the sun, moon and stars; the changing scenes of the seasons; the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky; man who is fearfully and wonderfully made…surely we have reason to praise the wonders of our God!! Yet it is not in the lofty and high places where we are going to dwell in this sermon, but rather in the lowly and the humble.
As we consider the coming into this world of the Son of God; born not in a stately palace but in a stable; not in the heights of Jerusalem, but in lowly Bethlehem; we shall indeed find reason and exhortation to humble ourselves and to seek the lowly place!!
Where does your heart lie, in the building of God's kingdom or the building of your own? In Haggai's day, the house of God lay wasted, whilst the people lived in luxury. Having started well, the people of God were deterred in the building of the temple and lapsed into comfort and ease; God's business simply no longer was a priority and zeal for the house of God had given place to complacency.
Does not the Lord's house lie wasted in the land. Once a missionary sending nation, Great Britain has now itself become a mission field. A call is sounded loudly in this sermon and a challenge issued to all God's people to seek once more the glory and honour of God. Who will give themselves to God and in so doing, give themselves to the work of God? Brothers and Sisters in Christ...it's time to build!!
There are many things in life that we take for granted; ironically, it is the things most precious and dear to us that we do this the most. If this is true in the natural, then how much true is it in the spiritual! One such thing that we ought never to be too familiar with is God's mercy and forgiveness!! For many the grace has become cheap and common, sin now they say and get forgiveness later!! Such a concept is blasphemous and abhorrent. Yet, at the same time, for some, though God has invited them to draw near to Him in living relationship, they can't because they feel themselves not worthy!
For such who fall into this second camp, this a message of encouragement and exhortation to draw near to God. Say not i'm unworthy, but rather His mercy, His mercy!! In the words of the Psalmist: "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, o Lord, who shall stand? BUT there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared" (Psalm 130:3-4). The living God of heavens calls us to an audience with Himself, the question is....will you be there?
Dear Brothers and Sisters, what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (Jms. 4:14). Job said “…My days are swifter than a weavers shuttle…my life is wind” (Job 7:6, 7). Oh! the swiftness and brevity of life’s passing moment!! In the words of a famous hymn…”Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day…” In the thirty-ninth Psalm, the Psalmist David lifted up his voice to God and cried “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.” Do these words move you? Do they stir your heart?
This sermon is a sober reminder of just how short our days are upon the earth. Oh! that a cry might arise in the hearts of God’s people in the light of life’s passing moment, in the light of life’s little day…”LORD, may you get the glory of my life this side of eternity!!!”
The doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ is undisputed and affirmed by both the Old and New Testaments. It is maintained and defended by the majority who profess Jesus Christ. Via the avenue of apologetics, the case for the deity of Jesus Christ is proven, the verses are quoted and the texts cited. If it be so that Jesus is God, what must the implications be for our lives? What of its impact? I fear that many can affirm the words “Lord” and “God”, and yet know nothing of the reality of these words in practice!! Could it possibly be conceived that it will do, to simply attach the Lord God of heaven to our lives as an add-on and continue to live as we please?
The question is not whether He is “Lord and God”, of that He most certainly is!! The question is, can you say with Thomas “My Lord and my God”?
What happens when one sits under the truth of God’s Word week in and week out and does nothing about that which God is instructing him? Margaret Chan, the director of the World Health Organisation stood up in a conference in 2014 and warned that life as we know it may be about to come to an end. What was the context in which she spoke these words? She was responding to the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. She said that in the last 25 years, bacteria have become increasingly immune to the antibiotics in our medical arsenal due to an overexposure to antibiotics through doctors prescribing them too freely. So it is when we fail to appropriate to our lives the truth of God’s Word, we build up an immunity to truth and our hearts grow hard!! In response to the medical problem, Margaret Chan said that the cupboard is nearly bear!! For the Christian unmoved by truth, I simply ask, what more can be said?
This sermon is a warning against resisting the truth of God. When the Lord is convicting our hearts to turn from sin and is persistent in calling us to such; if we repent not when God has done all to effect that repentance, what more can be done? When everything has been said and done, what then? The Lord reserved some of His most scathing words to such people, may we be not found as them!!