2 Kings 4:38-41
You’ve all heard the expression, “One bad apple spoils the barrel”; the origin of this idiom dates all the way back to the 1300’s. According to one source, the bad apple metaphor was first recorded in 1340 in the form of an English proverb, “A rotten apple quickly infects its neighbor”. There is a Biblical counterpart to this idiom which goes like this; “...a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6).
In this sermon, an urgent call goes forth for us to make search for any traces of leaven in our lives. With God’s help and grace, I pray that this sermon will be of help to your soul.
Do you have a quiet place with Jesus your Lord? You’ve placed priorities on things — they may be good things/noble things/godly things but have they become a distraction in your life? Are they taking you away from that one thing that is needful — sitting at the feet of Jesus? In the busyness and clutter of life, can you hear the Master calling you aside to spend time alone with Him? May God minister to your heart through this sermon.
For the third consecutive week, I have the privilege of ascending the stairs of this pulpit to bring a word in season on how to stand in the midst of trial!! Brothers and Sisters, believe me when I say, it was not my planned intention to labour this point, but as I waited upon the Lord as to what He would have me to say, I felt Him call to my remembrance another facet of suffering that I had been thinking hard upon but for the moment had forgotten.
Brothers and Sisters, God is speaking to His people!! Through the trials that we are passing through; God is at work, refining us so that we might be able to stand, not only in the present hour, but in the coming days ahead. But you say, Pastor, it’s hard and I’m weary!! The battle is fierce, the pressure intense, and the fire is hot; what am I to do? If I’m honest, I feel like I’m going under!! Brother/Sister, it is my heart’s desire to encourage you this morning — hold on!! You’re not going under!!!! The word of encouragement to your heart is — KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS!!!
1 Peter 3:3-7
As painful as it is to undergo trial — to be put into the furnace of affliction — It’s the only way by which one’s faith might be tried!! A man can boast all day about his faith; it is not until he is placed into the fire that one will see the quality of his faith! Far from diminishing faith, fire will always purify a man’s faith!
It was the Roman philosopher and historian, Pliny the Elder who wrote: “GOLD is the only thing that loses no substance by the action of fire. Indeed as a matter of fact it improves in quality the more often it is fired, and fire serves as a test of its goodness....”
“And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side” (Mk. 4:35). Note the circumstances of the hour. The evening had come upon them after what must have been a long drawn-out day. Jesus waits until the evening, when darkness is fast approaching, to put to His disciples His desire — “...Let us pass over unto the other side”. Jesus immediately takes His disciples from the classroom of academic learning to the classroom of application. First the theory then the practical!! Note, that the academic learning takes place close to shore, in a safe and controlled environment, but the practical lesson is going to take place out at sea, amidst the volatile atmosphere of a storm!!
Some of us want a trialless Christianity; a Christianity free from trouble, but listen, if the Lord while upon the earth led His disciples into conflict, how shall the risen ascended Saviour not even now, lead His people into the same? But fear not, the One who bids you pass over says “…Let us pass over”.