1 Timothy 2:1-6
A presentation of the Gospel!
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”.
2 Samuel 11:1
There’s something inherent within the heart of man; an instinct that he carries with him from birth. If tasked with the mission of travelling from A to B to C, if there’s a route that will take him straight from A to C, he's sure to find it out! It’s the lazy postman syndrome, rather than go up the path and down the next, he cuts straight across the lawn, much to the annoyance of the resident whose garden it is! Go to a rectangular field and look for the public right of way. Seldom is it ever the two paths forming a right angle, it’s usually always the diagonal distance right through. Now in this particular instance, mathematically speaking, it is always profitable to cut the corner. But what about the spiritual? What happens when God’s people begin cutting corners in matters of holiness? Tragedy always follows in its wake.
In this sermon, we look at the fall of King David and try to lessons for us today.
1 Samuel 16:6-7
Imagine for a moment, if upon awaking out of sleep, you were caught up to the third heaven beholding things indescribable, and hearing words unspeakable, “...which it is not lawful for a man to utter”. Suddenly, you find yourself before a throne and glancing upward, you see one seated upon the throne, high and lifted up. “...he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone” (Rev. 4:3). Oh, what a scene most glorious! A voice is heard coming from around the throne, “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?” (Is. 40:13-14). By this point you’re on your face, prostrate before the majesty of God, when suddenly a voice is heard; “Let him be His counsellor”. Terror grips your soul and before you can even think, another sounds aloud, “What shall he counsel?”, to which he gives answer, “Have him choose from among the children of men, a vessel of service unto the LORD”. Tell me this morning, how would you counsel?
In this sermon, we look at the qualities of the vessel God chooses for service in His house.
James, writing under the inspiration of God, asks his audience a question —and by extension, to us also, “For what is your life?” Everyman thinketh in his heart, though he may not say it, LONG…PLENTEOUS...OF GREAT LENGTH!!!! But what saith James? “It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”. Selah!! Job puts it this way, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days...He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not” (Job 14:1-2). “Behold (saith David), 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” (Ps. 39:5).
Tell me Christian, what are you living for, or can I put it this way, WHO are you living for? Oh that each one us might say, “For me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
You’ve all heard the saying, “Feelings come, and feelings go” — how true this maxim is!! I thank God for the gift of feeling, our emotions are given to us by our Creator. It was never God’s design to make robots. I don’t know if you ever noticed, but robots don’t have feelings — they do what they’re programmed to do. You can drive a robot off a cliff and you’re never going here it complain! Humans on the other hand are made to feel. When we’re sad, we cry, when happy, we laugh!! When in love, we don’t reach for the Oxford dictionary to search for a definition, every fiber of our being experiences it!! Now, whilst feelings can be a tremendous blessing to us, they can also be a great curse. Many a man acted rashly in a moment of hot temper based on feeling, only to regret it on the morrow in the cool light of a new day. We can think of all types of thoughts which in turn induce all manner of feelings, but we can be totally wrong in our thinking!! Only a fool allows his life to be governed by his feelings.
In this sermon, we look at feelings, decisions, and the desperate need for godly counsel.
It is upon my heart to speak to you about the spiritual stirrings of God amidst unfavourable times of spiritual depression!! Is this not an apt topic for the crisis hour in which we find ourselves? As I look around, after the natural eye, I don’t find much encouragement outwardly to commend much hope to my soul. As a nation, spiritually, we’re not in a good place — darkness covers the face of the deep, and by all natural reasoning, it seems that the light has been extinguished, never to rise upon the land again!! Yet, as one traces the moving of the Spirit in the history of the pages of God’s Word, one sees time and again, where darkness abounded, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep and God said, let there be light and there was light!!
It is my firm conviction, that God is at work, stirring the hearts of His people to pray because it is His desire to move again in revival power!
On 3 September 1939, France declared war on Germany following the German invasion of Poland. Between 10 May and 22 June 1940, in a six-week lightning campaign, Germany’s armed forces overran Holland, Belgium, and Luxemburg, humiliating the British and defeating the French. During the fighting, the British, French, and Belgium forces had been pushed back to the French Port of Dunkirk. Hundreds of thousands of allied troops were left stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, surrounded by massive German armies consisting of many more troops and tanks — it seemed an almost foregone conclusion. Knowing the peril of the moment, on May 24th, 1940, King George VI addressed the British nation, calling for a national day of prayer! On that self-same day, for reasons still unknown, Hitler suddenly and unexpectedly commanded the advancing Panzer tanks to halt, giving the allied forces 3 invaluable days of reprieve. On May 26th, 1940 the nation of Britain went to prayer committing their cause to Almighty God, imploring Him for divine intervention! Millions across the British Isles filed into Churches, and in some quarters, chapels were filled to overflowing. Now what happened next cannot be humanly explained. For the next nine days, some 338,000 troops were evacuated from the port and beaches of Dunkirk right in the face of the Germans! The allied forces may have lost the battle at Dunkirk but they went on to win the war!!
This sermon is an encouragement to those who may have lost battles in this Christian fight. You may have lost a battle, but you have not lost the war! There’s a work that God has for you to do. The time for licking your wounds is over and it’s time again to join the fight.
In his classic commentary on the Bible, Adam Clarke writes concerning mercy: “A merciful or compassionate man easily forgets injuries; pardons them without being solicited; and does not permit repeated returns of ingratitude to deter him from doing good, even to the unthankful and the unholy”. Can I ask you? Are you merciful? Do you extend mercy towards those who wrong you? I understand all about justice and principles, “...they’ve done this to me and so why should I show them kindness in return?” Dear soul, allow mercy to have its work in you, and you’ll soon be extending the hand of grace!! Hear the words of Jesus Christ, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Lk. 6:36).
When we think of the life of the Apostle Paul, many of us if we’re not careful, can have a distorted view of how things really were for this man of God. We look at the self-professed Apostles of today and by comparison, they live like superstars. From the very start, the Lord gave word to Ananias, “...Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake” (Acts 9:15-16). How would you fancy a call like that? Paul didn’t shrink away from this calling but embraced it!
This sermon is a call to embrace the cross of Jesus Christ. There are no coincidences with God. “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
One of the most ancient strategies of war is that of ambush. As one looks a little closer at what is entailed in an ambush, two key ingredients will come up again and again — surprise and concealment! One dictionary defines ambush as “an act of hiding, waiting for others to appear, and then suddenly attacking them”. One of the hardest things to respond to is an ambush, you simply don’t see it coming!!! You’re caught left-field when your guard is down when you least suspect it, and inevitably, you’re fighting from the disadvantage of recovery. We have a common foe who is not unaccustomed to this mode of war. Satan is a dirty fighter and we must learn how to stand our ground on the day of his special assault. Play the man, stand firm in the fight, and see what God will do!