1 Samuel 17:1-54
Behold the specimen of a man...Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines!! For 40 days, morning and evening, this ferocious giant challenged the armies of Israel to put forward a man to fight him. Fear gripped the armies of Israel as they looked upon Goliath's huge and menacing stature, concluding in the natural that there was no hope!! Dear Christian, what is the Goliath in your life? Will you not trust the Lord to give you the victory over this fearsome foe? See the shepherd boy David who by courageous faith in his God, brought the fight to this Philistine and took his head off!!
This message is an exhortation for Christians to overcome the Goliath in their life. Say not, I am weak and have no power; say not that the foe is too strong…who will set their eyes to the LORD of hosts and prove their God in the hour of conflict? I trust that we might be found such ones!!
Our Lord said of Nathaniel..."Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! He who searches the hearts of men and tries the inner most thoughts and intentions could say of this man that he was the genuine article and not a fake. I wonder...could Christ say such words of you and I; "Behold a Christian indeed, in whom is no deceit"? The missing ingredient and the root cause of so many living double lives today is that they are not REAL before the only one we CANNOT fool - God. Dear soul, when we try to hide our sin from God, it shows that there is no fear of God in our lives!
This message is a passionate plea for all God's people to come out of the dark and into the light. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13).
In the day and age in which we live, an ascending cry is being heard, sounding forth from those dissatisfied with the old paths. It is a cry for the "new"; change has become the buzz word of our day, out with the old and in with the new!! Society fueled by the Western media now prides itself that it is at last emerging from the puritanical and bigoted age of Victorianism, to a new liberalism without moral absolutes, where man is now free to make up his own morality. No longer is it popular to talk about sin, no longer is it acceptable to hold and promote a moral worldview based upon the Word of God; there is simply no stomach for it! Sadly, in an effort to reach this post-modern generation the Church has changed and adapted its message; the gospel is out and clever methodologies are in. Dear brethren, we must resist such a temptation, Paul said that he was not ashamed of the gospel for he know that it was the power of God unto salvation. Paul determined to know only one thing among a people darkened in sin; he knew of only one message that would break the shackles that so bound them...Christ and Him crucified!!!
This message is a call for Gods people to take up again the gospel message and to proclaim this message unashamedly, with full conviction that THIS IS the means appointed by God for men to be saved.
Brethren, we are living in unprecedented times; all around us, to our left and right, before and behind lies the world with all of its lures and attractions. To be a Christian in this generation, in this hour, in this location calls for a special effort on our part and a single-mindedness birthed out of a conviction that though living in the world, we are not going to be of this world! The missing ingredient in Western Christianity is sanctification!! We are called by God to be saints "holy ones". God is indeed seeking a last days people, even calling forth in our day such a people, who might have written across their lives like the High Priest of Israel had engraved across his forehead, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD".
Its high time that we rise up to be the people God has called us to be and to put away from our midst the strange gods and to incline our heart fully unto the Lord God of Israel!! May God give us the grace to so do!
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I'll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee". The words of C.T Studd still live on and continue to speak to the depths of our hearts! Brethren, I believe with all my heart that God is doing a work in these last days in preparing a people for Christian service. It is not a work done in the open but one done in obscurity in the wilderness. "...the child...was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel" (Lk. 1:80). Is God doing such a preparation in your life and heart? A preparation for service? Oh! that the cry of our hearts might be that He might get the glory of our lives this side of eternity!!! A prophet is not born in a day! Those who God uses, He first prepares and trains for service. Who will lay aside their own business to seek's the Father's? Who is willing to be brought into that place of obscurity and there to lay hold on God in the secret place where no man see's, with no recognition and no affirmation, until such a time as God sees fit to send you forth into the harvest? Dear Christian, God seeks a holy and faithful vessel; will you be such a vessel?
Jim Cottington Pastors a Church in West Sussex and is a council elder for Christian Ministerial Fellowship International (CMFI). In this sermon, Jim gives great encouragement and an exhortation to believers to stand fast and firm in the last days in which we find ourselves. May the Lord minister to you through this sermon and provoke your heart to seek His face of the Lord in these difficult times! Be encouraged dear Saints!!
1 Peter 1:13
The great commentator Albert Barnes in commenting upon the Christian's war against the prince of this world, wrote:
"Satan does not carry on an open warfare. He does not meet the Christian soldier face to face. He advances covertly; makes his approaches in darkness; employs cunning rather than power, and seeks rather to delude and betray than to vanquish by mere force. Hence, the necessity of being constantly armed to meet him whenever the attack is made. A man who has to contend with a visible enemy, may feel safe if he only prepares to meet him in the open field. But far different is the case if the enemy is invisible; if he steals upon us slyly and stealthily; if he practices war only by ambushes and by surprises. Such is the foe that we have to contend with - and almost all the Christian struggle is a warfare against stratagems and wiles."
On of Satan's master stratagems as a deceiver and a lier, is to trick us into thinking that the thoughts he plants into our minds are really our own thoughts so that the lie becomes the truth!! If ever there was a need to gird up the loins of our minds and to be sober in our thinking so as to discern the thoughts of the wicked one it is now!! This sermon brings out three chief areas where this great battle for the mind is fought; in discouragement; by distraction and by division!! May God give us the grace to war so as to win, through the strength and grace of Jesus Christ!
The common notion held by many when it comes to belief in God is "seeing is believing". The cry goes forth, "show me and I will believe". Many hold faith to be simply a leap in the dark; but the Bible rejects this idea and rather teaches that faith is a firm persuasion based upon an encounter with the living God!! Faith is a conscious decision to place ones trust and confidence in One who is trustworthy; to place one's faith in One who is faithful!!
This message seeks to bring out the root of the sin of unbelief. The children of Israel beheld the terror and glory of God firsthand; they heard His voice as thunder and beheld His gory as a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night!! They saw the manifest power of His might as He parted the Red Sea and they saw His tender kindness as He fed them with Manna from heaven!! Yet in spite of this, they refused to be persuaded of God's goodness and faithfulness and refused to be convinced of God's trustworthiness. Through their hardened hearts, they tempted the Lord again and again, charging Him with evil and saying, is the LORD among us, or not? A solemn warning goes forth in this message; "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God"
As Christians, we are duty bound and under solemn command by the King to keep the records clean when it comes to our debtors. We are called by the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive those who have sinned against us and the Bible makes no allowances and no apologies. Yet, there are many professing Christians who Sunday after Sunday, pour into Churches shouting hallelujah's with hands raised and yet are harbouring unforgiveness in their hearts towards others. The Lord tells us plainly that our horizontal relationships with men affect our vertical relationship with God and that if things are amiss with our brother, things are amiss with God and we need first to sort things out with our Brother before offering worship to God!!
This sermon brings a challenge to the Body of Christ and seeks to bring out the nature of true forgiveness, and the wickedness of unforgiveness. May God grant us grace to ponder this message and to be not hearers only but doers of His Word!!
The Bible speaks of a particular member of our body, so small and yet so powerful; "a little member, and boasteth great things...a fire, a world of iniquity...setteth on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire of hell...an unruly evil, full of deadly poison" (Jms. 3). Which member is this the Bible alludes to? The tongue!!
We are exhorted, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain" (Jms. 1:26). As believers bound to the royal law of love, the word of God charges us strictly that we should not give ourselves to gossip and slander but rather we should love our fellow man!! This message cuts to the very heart of the matter and exposes the malicious spirit behind gossip and slander. The challenge goes forward with conviction calling believers to abstain from such talk. May God give us grace to heed!!