Monday, June 18, 2018

Men Of Faith #3: Father Abraham

Men Of Faith #3: Father Abraham


Text: Gen 18:19    For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

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Introduction:  A son asked his father some questions about the Bible of which he wasn't too sure he could answer but he was willing to give it a try. 

The son asked, "Who was Noah's wife?"
"Son, that's an easy one, her name was Joan.  You know Joan of Arc."
"Daddy, the preacher preached about Sodom and Gomorah, what was that." 
"Sodom and Gomorah were of course another husband and wife. They were a well know couple almost as famousas Dan and Beersheba."
"Okay, well then I have just one more then, what was the Tower of Babel? 
"Oh, well that is the simplest one yet. It was the place where Solomon kept all his 1000 wives when he couldn’t stand listening to them complain any more.”

    It's not easy having all the right answers as a Dad. We all could use some help some advice.  Dad, if you could sit down and talk with God, the Heavenly Father, what would He tell you about how to succeed as a Dad? Probably He would tell you to look at those men He used to carry out His will in the Bible and uppermost of those would be the man who is called Father Abraham by three of the world’s great peoples. the Jews, the Christians and the many of the Sematic people of the middle east. What were the conditions, the elements that were in Abraham that we as fathers and grandfathers should try and establish with God’s help in our own lives. God would say that if you know me, if spiritually lead your family then I will bless you through your family.

If  You Know Me

 Abraham and God had a personal relationship.

In the Bible Abraham is actually called, "the friend of God."
In Genesis18:1 we read that the Lord himself, came down and visited with Abraham.
 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:  Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.  And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.  And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.  And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Abraham had a personal relationship with the Lord. He talked with him, he worshipped him, he prayed to him and in this passage he even breaks bread with him.

The first lesson I can learn then from Abraham as a model father in God’s eyes is that I also must have a personal relationship with God.

Relationship not Just Religion

My goal, my aim must be more than just the regulations, rites and rituals of a religion. God is not as interested in what you do for Him, as much as He is interested in what you do with Him.

Scripture
Isa  29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Mt   15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.
Ho   6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Quote from Tribute by James Dobson.  My Father was a man of many intense loves but his greatest passion was expressed in his love for Jesus Christ.  His very thought and deed were motivated or influenced by his desire to serve his Lord. And I can truthfully say that we were never together without my being drawn closer to God by being in his presence.  Not because he warned me or chastised me, but because his love for the Lord penetrated and shaped my own attitudes.

Did you know that the Official Flower of Father's Day is the Dandelion?

The reason it is the flower for Father’s day is because the more it's trampled the more it flourishes. The root of the dandelion runs deeps and holds firmly in the soil it's planted in. It is also a flower that withers and shrinks when it is not in full sunlight, signifiying that if fathers are to flourish even when trampled on then they must  also have a deep and strong root planted in the soil of God's Love and strengthened and energized by the light of the Son of God.  It is this relationship to the sun and the Son that makes good flowers and good fathers.

Transition:

The first element of being a father that God can use is having a relationship with God. You must be saved, you must walk and talk with Him on a daily intimate level. The next element deals with assuming the proper leadership of your family.



If  You Lead Your Family

The Reason For Leadership Is Their Relationship with God.

Abraham would command, he would instruct, teach and lead, his children and household in order to keep the way of the Lord. His would lead his family to honor, worship and know His God. God chose Abraham because of this very quality.  Abraham would not fail to lead his family in the things of God, in those things that would assure the next generations would still know God.  This task was the most important thing God ever called Abraham to do.

Leading Your Family To God

If you share a relationship with God, then you realize you have a  God given, God commanded responsibility toward your family and the generation that follows. Like Abraham, you as the father, the husband, the grandfather and if the Lord blesses as a great grandfather are called by God to know God and to “keep the way of the Lord.”
It is your primary role as the head of the family and it is the greatest thing, the most important thing God has ever called you to do.

Scripture

Deuteronomy 11:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates  21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
Ephesians 6:4  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Illustration:  J C Penney's father didn't laugh.

When he was a teenager, J.C. Penney worked for a grocerman in Hamilton, Missouri.  he liked the work and had plans to make a career of it.  One night he came home and proudly told his family about his "foxy" employer.  The grocer had a practice of mixing low quality coffee with the expensive brand and thus increasing his profit.  Jim laughed as he told the story at the supper table.
    His father didn't' see anything funny about the practice.  "Tell me," he said, "if the grocer found someone palming off an inferior article to him for  the price of the best, do you think he would think they were just being foxy, and laugh about it?"
    Jim's father instructed him to go to the grocer the next day and collect whatever money due him and tell the grocer he wouldn't be working for him any longer.  Jobs were not plentiful, but Mr. Penney world rather his son be unemployed than be associated with a crooked businessman.

James Cash Penney Quote:
If a man’s business requires so much of his time the he cannot attend the Sunday morning and evening servies and Wednesday night prayer meeting of his church, then that man has more business than God intended him to have. – J. C. Penney

Transition:

As a father, if I know God and if I lead my family to keep the way of the Lord then using Abraham as my guide, I can expect God to bless my family.

Then I Will Bless

God's blessing upon Abraham's family

God's blessing to and through Abraham would include all the world
Genesis 12: 2-3   And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Through Abraham would come the nation of Israel, and through the nation of Israel would come Jesus Christ, the savior of the world and through Jesus the Savior, the Son of God would come salvation and the hope of eternal life and God started with one faithful father. “He will command his children and household, they will keep the way of the Lord, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken.”

One faithful father in God’s will and plan can bring God’s blessings to everyone around him.
God’s Blessings Upon My Family

Fathers, what blessings of God are waiting for you to fulfill your role of leadership in your family. I believe that just as Abraham was crucial to God’s blessings to all of us, so are you crucial to God’s blessings in your family and in the generation to come. Listen to some of God’s promises.

God's Promises

Proverbs 3:1-4  My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:  So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Ephesians 6:2-3  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Listen to another father's understanding of the truth,  as seen in David last words to his son and heir Solomon.

Toward his Children,  1 Chronicles 28:9  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Toward his God for his children.  1 Chronicles 29:19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all [these things], and to build the palace, [for] the which I have made provision.

Illustration:  Jairus, The father who went to Jesus for healing for his daughter's fever.

Mark 5:22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,  23  And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.  24  And Jesus went with him...

This father realized that his daughter's only hope was Jesus.  He went and found him and then brought Jesus to his daughter.  Father's are you bringing the greatest blessing of all into your family?  Are you bringing Jesus with you when you come home?

Conclusion: 

Are you the kind of father that God can use to bless your family?  Do you have a real, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Can your family see that relationship? Do you realize that you are responsible for bringing up your children according to God's Word?  Do you understand that you are one of the most important channels God has for blessing your family?

A Father’s Prayer


Dear Lord, as I sit beside the bed of my child and watch their sleep, I am overcome by the blessing you have given to me.  How can something this precious be placed in my care?  How can this beautiful creation look at me with eyes so full of admiration and wonder?  How can I live up to the task of not losing that innocent beauty to a world that seeks to destroy it?

Lord, the time I have is so limited and cluttered with demands and deadlines.  Yet when the deadlines pass I can't remember why they were so critical.  While at my feet a child looks up and asks me to play ball or be their horsy, look at their latest crayon masterpiece or just hold them in my lap.  Their Daddy is the most important thing in the world to them.  When will I realize that they must be the most important thing in all the world to me?

Lord, I know that someday they will walk away, no longer a child but a young man, a young woman.  I understand I must release them either to You or to this world.  Will I have been the father you wanted me to be?  Will that child see in me the loving hand, the words of wisdom, the inexhaustible love of you, their Heavenly Father?  Help me to make the time to show my children your love for them through me.  Oh, my God if only one task I accomplish before my life is over, please let it be that my children will know You through me.

I ask this in the name of your own Son. Amen - DKM 1993

Men of Faith #2: David Man of Battle

David: Man of Battle

Text: 1 Samuel 17

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Introduction: 
Dwight Nelson told a story about  a Romanian SDA pastor (a true one). He had a kitten that  climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid  to come down. (And Dwight goes through all the  sound effects.) The pastor pled, got warm milk, etc.   (many embellishments all along). The kitty wouldn't  come down. So he decided that if he tied a rope to his  car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he  could then reach the kitten.  He did all this, kept  getting out to check,  then figured if he went just a  little bit farther, the tree would be bend sufficiently to  reach the kitten. But as he did so, the rope broke. Of course,  the tree went Boing! and the kitten sailed through the air  out of sight.  The pastor felt very bad. He walked all  over the neighborhood, asking people if they'd seen a  little kitten. No. So he prayed  "Lord, I just commit this  kitten to Your keeping," and went on about his  business.

A few days later he was at the  grocery store, and he met a church member and looked into  her cart. (Dwight's aside: "Pastors always look in  church member's carts to see what they're buying."),  and he was amazed to see cat food, knowing she  hated cats. He  asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate  cats?" She replied, "You won't believe  this," and told him how her little girl had been begging  her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days  before,  the girl had begged again, and she finally  told her, "Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it."  You can guess the rest. She told the pastor, "I watched  my little girl go out in the yard, and get on her knees,  and ask God for a cat. And really, you won't believe  this, but I saw it with my own eyes.   A cat suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws spread out, and landed in front of her!"

I.    The Battle Before: Fear  1 Samuel 17: 3-11

  3  And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and [there was] a valley between them.  4  And there went out a champion from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height [was] six cubits and a span.  5  And [he had] an helmet of brass upon his head, and he [was] armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat [was] five thousand shekels of brass.  6  And [he had] greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  7  And the staff of his spear [was] like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head [weighed] six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.  8  And he stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, Why have ye come out to set [your] battle in array? [am] not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.  9  If he shall be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I shall prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

A.    The Israelites fear Goliath.

1.    Goliath is called a champion, the word literally means “a man between two camps.” You can see why he was a champion. As the Bible describes him, he stands 9'9" tall, his chain mail, would have been a leather jerkin or vest covered with brass overlapping scales, it   by itself weighs around 150 pounds, and his spear head weighs 15 pounds, that is heavier than a sledge hammer.
2.    Goliath was truly a giant, probably a good 4 feet talker than any one in the camp of the Israelites and his challenge causes fear in the camp. Goliath stood as the example of the power of the the Philistines. He was obviously superior to anyone among Saul’s army. It was also a reminder that not too long ago before Samuel and Saul become leaders in Israel, the the Philistines had been the former masters of the Israel. The Philistines had mastered the working of iron before the Isralites and their weopons would cut right through the bronze shields and swords of the host of Israel.
All this mean that the fear that Israel was feeling was dominating them. Befor they even lifted a javeling or a buckler they were already defeated in the minds and in their spirits.

B.    What Do You Fear?

1.    The tactics used by Goliath and the Philistines are still used today by Satan in his battles against us. Before the fight ever starts, he uses fear to dominate us, because just like the Israelites and the Philistines, Satan used to be the one who had mastered us.

2.    Most battles in the spiritual arena are not lost, they are simply never fought, because we are afraid to begin. We are afraid to witness, because someone will laugh. Afraid to defend the gospel, someone will know more. Afraid to try because we are afraid to fail.
That kind of fear is a sin, because it is robs us of victory.

3.    Fears as a Pastor.
Satan says, you can't pastor this church, it's not going to work, it's too hard in this community, you lack the gifts that are needed, you're going to lose your health, the finances will fail, people will get offened and leave, people you come to love will break your heart.

4.    Fears as a member.
Satan says, you can't tithe and pay your bills, you sure can't tithe, give to missions and pay your bills, people will not accept you if you act like a Christian, the pastor is too old, too set in his ways, he’s too bald.  ( Oh, wait, that's one of my fears.) To all of that, this is what God’s word says.

5.    Scripture.  Romans 8:14-15  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba, Father. 

(Fear, God’s word says, is bondage. And as bondage, the chains and bars of fear, will prevent spiritual victory, because we will not evenstart the fight.

Transition:

So lets move away from fear and see that battle begun by listening as Faith Speaks. 

II.    The Battle Begun: Faith Speaks 1 Samuel 17:26-32

  26  And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?  27  And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.  28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down here? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart; for thou art come down that thou mayest see the battle.  29  And David said, What have I now done? [Is there] not a cause?  30  And he turned from him toward another, and spoke after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.  31 And when the words were heard which David spoke, they reported [them] before Saul: and he sent for him.  32  And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

A.    David Believes God’s Promises

1.    Why do you think David was brave? It was not his stature, in comparison to Goliath he was an infant. It was not his experience as a battle hardened warrior, he had never fought a battle before. Not the bravery of David rests in one thing..

2.    He believed in God's promises to his nation.  vs 26 “for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
The people of Israel were God's people. The nation of Israel was God's nation. They shared a unique and special relationship based upon God's word, God’s promise to them as his people. Those promises were a covenant that went all the way back to Abraham's covenant that God promised he would fulfill through Abraham's descendants.
Now those same people stand at a moment of decision and David says, “We are God’s army, we are God’s people and this Philistine stands against us.”

B.    Who do you believe?


1.    Faith as we are talking about it is not subjective but objective. Subjective is by my feelings and is open to my personal interpretation. But Objective means it can be measured, is tangible and can even be seen by others.  Subjective faith depends on how much I feel "faith." Objective faith says, "I don't feel brave or courageous but because I trust God, I will do what He tells me to do.  I will act because God has promises that will be true when I act."

2.    If you really know who you believe, then you can and will overcome fear.

3.    Just like Israel, you are unique and have special relationship to God

4.    Scripture Romans 8
Romans 8:15 He is your father
Romans 8:16-17 You are his child
Romans 8:31 God is on your side
Romans 8:38-39 Your life is hid in Christ.
Romans 8:38 -39  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5.    Do you believe these promises?  Do you take God at his word? 

6.    Then let the battle begin, because just like David, God is fighting for us!

C.    Illustration:  Elisha asks God to allow his servant to see those on their side.

  15  And when the servant of the man of God had risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host surrounding the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that [are] with us [are] more than they that are with them.  17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.

III.    The Battle Ready: Familiar Weapons. 1 Samuel 17:33-39

  33  And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.  34  And David said to Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  35  And I went after him, and smote him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught [him] by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  36  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  37  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.  38  And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.  39  And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he tried to go; for he had not proved [it]. And David said to Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved [them]. And David put them off from him.

A.    David chooses weapons he knows.

1.    David's confidence was also based upon previous experience as a shepherd. He had not fought giants but he had fought as a shepherd. He had fought in God's power with lions, bears and other predators to protect his flock.

B.    What weapons do you know.

1.    To win your spiritual battles, you must also be familiar with your weapons. You must gain experience in the small battles before the big battles. You must know how to use you chief weapon the Word of God.

4.    Moses had his staff, Aaron had his rod, David had his sling, Gideon had his trumpet, you have your Bible.  Butr can you use it in the battles of life?

Can you open up a passage and show someone how to be saved? Can you turn to a verse that shows how to be baptized? Can you turn to a scripture that teaches the priesthood of the believer? Can you find the place where missions are sent out through the local church?

Can you turn to a Chapter and verse that will give you courage when you go into surgery? Can you share a verse of encouragement with a friend? Can you find the place where Jesus says, “Ill never leave you nor forsake you? How about were we are read, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not fear?”

C.    Illustration:  My Surgery Prep

When I went into surgery, I wrote Psalms 27 on my wrist so I could read it just before they put me under and as soon as I came to in the recovery room. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Imagine my surprise when I got ready to read it and glanced down at my wrist and they had covered my verse with surgical tape. But that was okay, because like David I had the promise right here in my heart.

D.    Transition: 

So the battle begins when David’s faith speaks but what will make the difference between two enemies equal in belief, courage and weapon training?   Lets look next at the Battle planned.

IV.    The Battle Planned: Forethought

  40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a bag; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

A.    David’s Preparation

1.    He chose the smoothest stones, the ones closest to marble perfection, that would cause them to fly the furthest and the straightest. (I know this because I got pretty good when I was a kid at shooting cats with a wrist rocket sling shot. Don’t make me a bad guy, the cats back then were all 9’6” tall and carried spears.)
3.    David, by choosing the stones carefully before the battle, assured that the victory wowas now assured.

B.    How Do You Prepare

1.    What stones should I prepare before the battle. Let me make an application of the stones we should choose before our battles.

2.    Stone of Study. 
Hone your sword before the battle. 
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

3.    Stone of Supplication. 
Prayer, talking with your commander.
1Thess 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

4.    Stone of Solidarity.  
 Standing, fellowshipping with other Christians.  Unity of the Church.
 Ephesians 4: 3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
And let me say this, there is no unity without attendance.

5.    Stone of Service
This is the boot camp before the battle.
Matt 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  27  And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

6.   
Separate from the world preserves us ready to fight the enemy.
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
You can't fight the enemy if you are part of the enemy.

Transition:  David makes his preparation and moves to fight Goliath.


V.    The Battle Won: Faith Acts 1 Samuel 17:41-53

41  And the Philistine advanced and drew near to David; and the man that
 bore the shield [went] before him.  42  And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.  43  And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staffs? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  44  And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.  45  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  46  This day will the LORD deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, and take thy head from thee; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  47  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.  48 ¶ And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  49  And David put his hand in his bag, and took from there a stone, and slung it with his sling, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  50  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but [there was] no sword in the hand of David.  51  Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.  52  And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, to the entrance of the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath, and to Ekron.  53  And the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents.

A.    David Wins By Acting In Faith

1.    Goliath as the battle commences, speaks and in his speech we see that he is standing in his own power and strength, vs 43-44 “And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staffs? Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.”

2.    But notice the difference with David. He stands, not in his power but in power of his God vs 45-47 “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.   This day will the LORD deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, …And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.”

B.    How Will You Find Victory?

1.    You can’t fight Satan and win the spiritual battles of your life and the life of others, in your own power? Satan will trick you like he did Eve, he will blind you like he did Samson, he will afflict you like he did Job, he will scare you like he did Peter when he saw the waves and wind. You can't beat Satan so you better trust in God.

2.    The power of God is on your side.
When you trust in God, you find that in God's power you'll run all day like Elijah, you'll overcome unbeatable enemies like Gideon, you'll cross great obstacles like Moses, you'll walk across the oceans of your fears like Peter because Jesus is with you.
Scripture. Let me give you some Victory Verses. (You should write these somewhere, preferably not on your wrists though.)

 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.

Ro 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [can be] against us?
Joshua 1: 9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee wherever thou goest.

 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Conclusion

What battles are you facing this morning?  What battles are you losing?  What battles are you losing beause you are afraind to even start the fight?  Listen…
·    Don't fear. Refuse to let Satan paralyze you. It’s time to trust in God.
·    Believe, show your faith.  The victory can be yours but you must begin the fight.
·    Know your weapons.  Read this book, know this book then listen, for God will speak to you through it's powerful pages.
·    Prepare for the battle now.  If you wait till the fight begins you'll be caught picking up stones when you should have been slinging them at the enemy.
·    Finally, find God's victory. It is His and he has offered it to us thourgh, his son Jesus Christ and it is recorded in His word. There is victory. Victory over sin, victory over Satan, victory over fear, victory over over the unbeatable giants in your life.
Say the with David, "The Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lords and he will give you into our hands."

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Men of Truth # 1: Gaius, Truth Walker


Men of Truth # 1: Gaius, Truth Walker


Text 3 John


3John   1
 1. The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
 5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
 9. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth [them] out of the church.
 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 12. Demetrius hath good report of all [men], and of the truth itself: yea, and we [also] bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace [be] to thee. [Our] friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

Introduction:

A Baptist farmer who was a deacon in his church was trying to sell his cow. One day a man came to look at the cow and after some negotiating said he would take it, but he didn’t have the money right now, he’d bring it by tomorrow. The farmer said, “Well I’m not sure. How do I know I can trust you?”  “Oh, you can trust me”, said the man, “I’m an elder in the Methodist Church in town.”  Finally, the farmer said ok. He walked into the house and asked his wife what an elder in the Methodist church was. “I’m not sure, but I think it’s like a deacon in a Baptist church.”  The farmer looked out the window where his cow had gone down the road and said, “Well, shoot! Looks like I just lost my cow.”

I.      Gaius, Truthwalker 3 John 1-8

1. The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

 

A.    John Encourages Gaius to stand for the Truth

1.      Background.

a)      We know very little other than what we read in the epistle about Gauis and the church he was a member of. We can tell from the letter that John the apostle, who calls himself the elder now due to his advanced age, love Gauis. He addresses him as well beloved, says that he loves him in the truth and calls him beloved again all in the first 2 verses.

b)      Gauis may have been a convert of John’s and definitely seems to be someone he mentored for he refers to him as one of his children who walks in the truth. John writes a phase that every Christian parent should know and make their live’s goal. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children wak in truth.”

c)      The word truth is prominent throughout this epistle the central theme of of the epistle it is used 6 times in only 14 verses.

2.      The prominence of truth to Gaius.

a)      Love in truth vs. 1
b)     
Truth in thee vs. 3
c)     
Walk in truth vs. 3

3.      What Truth is John alluding to.

a)      Greek Word definition:  aletheia {al-ay'-thi-a}

(2)   truth 107, truly + 1909 1, true 1, verity 1; 110
(4)  
  1a) what is true in any matter under consideration
(5)  
  1b) what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth

b)      Christian Definition
(1)  
the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians

c)      The Bible tells us that truth is Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life…

d)      From this base, this foundation comes a life of walking in the truth, we would call that walk integrity or character.

 

B.     Men of Truth are men of Integrity and character.

1.      Truth Inside vs. 3

a)      John wrote to Gaius and said, The truth that is in thee.
b)      To be men of integrity and character, we must have a moral code, a truth, written within our hearts as well.

(1)    Truth, Christian Truth, God’s truth, Bible truth is not subjective. It is not changeable according to an individual’s viewpoint or opinion.
(2)   Nor is it relative, dependent upon the circumstances I am in at the moment.

c)      God’s unchanging infallible word must be the code that is written within us and that governs our lives and every decision and action that we make.

2.      Example Axiomatic Truths by AW Tozer

a)      What are the axiomatic truths upon which all human life may rest with confidence? They are not many:

b)      Only God is omnipotent.
c)      Only God is omniscient
d)      Apart from God, nothing matters.
e)      Only what we do in God is eternal
f)       Sin is real and will destroy you
g)      Only God can forgive sin, through Jesus Christ
h)      Only what God protects is safe.- (Edited)

3.      Being a truth walker, being a man of truth, means doing what is right, because it is right, not because it is convenient or better or we fear the consequences but because truth is the way we live our life, because truth is our life as Christians.

4.      Truth Inside Must Lead to Truth Outside vs. 3

a)      John in verse 3 says, “You walk in the truth”
b)      From this inward code there will comes a lifestyle, a walk of truth. These outward actions show the truth that is in us.
c)      Truth on the inside will always translate into proper action on the outside.

5.      Quotation: Will Rogers said, “Live in such a way that you would not be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip”

6.      The Truth Could be seen in Gaius in his treatment of the thos John calls the strangers.

a)      Gaius was fighting Diotrephes, over caring and helping Christians sent out in the Lord's work. These were the first century missionaries, following in the steps of Paul, Silas and Barnabus.

7.      John encourages Gaius to fight for care and support of missionaries because this was the truth and right thing to do. He gives three reasons why Gauis should support those sent out with the Gospel.

a)      Reward vs. 5, Gaius, your work will be rewarded
b)     
Reputation vs. 6, Gaius, your work will be known.
 

c)      Reasons vs. 7-8, Gaius, you are right in your work
(1)  
They are sent out for Jesus sake

(2)  
They have nothing

(3)  
We are to be fellowhelpers to the truth.

8.      What is the truth seen in our life? What actions are apparent? What are we doing because of what has been encoded into our heart by the Holy Spirit when you were Born Again?

a)      What of your giving to missions? What of your attendance at church? What of your work at church? What of your witness at work or school? What of raising your children? Where is the evidence of integrity and character which should be in us since Jesus Christ is in us?

 

C.    Illustration:  The goal didn’t count but integrity did.

1.      "Dear Rob," begins the hand-scrawled letter, "I read Bob Greene's wonderful column about you. I love sports and true sportsmen. My faith in our future was renewed and lifted by that column. Never lose your principles. Always stand for what's decent and right. That's what you told us all when you refused the victory!" The signature: former President George Bush.

2.      Soccer player Rob Mouw, a senior at Wheaton (Illinois) Christian High School, isn't used to publicity, much less letters from former presidents. But his unusual action in a hotly contested soccer match was reported by local newspapers, and then by nationally syndicated columnist Bob Greene.

3.      In the closing seconds of a game against Waubonsie Valley, a team ranked high in the state, Mouw managed a breakaway and kicked the tying goal. With Wheaton fans cheering the upset and Waubonsie fans protesting the goal was late, Mouw walked to the referee and asked whether the official time was kept on the scoreboard or the referee's stopwatch.

4.      The scoreboard time was official, he was told. Mouw then explained that just before his kick, he had seen zeros on the scoreboard clock. Since he hadn't heard a whistle, he kept playing. But his goal was late, and he didn't think it should count. The referee reversed his call, awarding the game to Waubonsie.

5.      That night, Mouw went home to his homework. "I didn't think much about it," he says. "I hadn't done anything that great. For me, acting honestly was just a reflection of Christ in me."

6.      The article ended by quoting Mouw: "'Every time in your life you have an opportunity to do right, you should be thankful. For a person to know what right is, and then not to do it--that would be a sin. To have won the game--I mean, really, who cares? Doing the right thing is more important. It lets you have peace.'" -- Christian Reader, "Ordinary Heroes" (1995).

7.      Note: Rob went on to play soccer for Wheaton College, helping the team to a national championship in 1997.


II.   Diotrephes, Truth Subverter

 9. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth [them] out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

 

A.    The Subversion of Diotrephes

1.      vs. 9 He subverted Christian love. He loves to have preeminence, loved to be first, displacing others and not serving in humility.

2.      vs. 10, He subverted truth by prating against John. In 1 Timothy word is translated gossip.

3.      He subverted the work of the Gospel. He does not receive the brethren (missionaries and others)

4.      He subverted the local church. He stops those that would (support the missionaries), and then casts them out of the church.

 

B.     Follow The Good Not The Evil

1.      Following the good means humility. The cause of dishonesty, the antihesis of integrity and character, is loving to be first.

2.      The Bible tells us not to place ourselves first.

a)      Matthew 9: 35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

b)      Jesus words of advice at a supper, sit in the last chair, not the place of honor.

3.      When others become more important to me than I am to myself, integrity becomes and unbreakable foundation of my life. It is the only way to act toward others.

4.      Following the good means receiving and sending missionaries.

a)      John goes on to talk about how this is seen in the actions toward missionaries and others he says we are to:

b)      Receive those who serve for the sake of Jesus Christ by going forth with nothing. We are to bring them forward on their journey.

5.      Vs. 11 Following the Good is seen in doing good. John speaks very bluntly, even harshly because he wants this to be understood completely. He says, “He that doeth good is of God, but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” We would say, he that does evil has not even seen God.

6.      Example:  Do you know we have had missionaries here that I did not like? I have had missionaries here that I was afraid would say or act in such a way as to risk offending you? Why would I do such a thing? Because I believe what John said to Gaius was also said to me. We are to receive those who serve Jesus Christ, even if I don’t like them. Even if my church doesn’t like them I am to help them along the way.

7.      That’s what “walking in truth” is all about. That’s what following the good is all about. It is doing what I know God would have me to do in all things. If I neglect this in the small responsibilities, I risk losing it in all areas of my life.

 

C.    Illustration: Lindbergh On Truth

1.      In my youth, science was more important to me than either man or God. I worshipped science. Its advance had surpassed man’s wildest dreams. It took many years for me to discover that science, with all its brilliance, lights only a middle chapter of creation.

2.      I saw the aircraft I love destroying the civilization I expected it to save. Now I understand that spiritual truth is more essential to a nation than the mortar in its cities’ walls. For when the actions of a people are undergirded by spiritual truths, there is safety. When spiritual truths are rejected, it is only a matter of time before civilization will collapse.

3.      We must understand spiritual truths and apply them to our modern life. We must draw strength from the almost forgotten virtues of simplicity, humility, contemplation and prayer. It requires a dedication beyond science, beyond self, but the rewards are great, and it is our only hope. — Charles Lindbergh


 

III.           Demetrius, Truth Testifier

 12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:  14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

 

A.    Demetrius’ Good Report

1.      He was perhaps a missionary traveling to Gaius or a member or leader in the church.

2.      John says, that Demetrius had a good report, a good witness, of all men. Those who knew him spoke well of him.

3.      He goes on to say a good report of the truth itself. This means that truth was evident in Demetrius’ own life. Like Gaius, he was a truth walker, the truth could be seen in his actions.

4.      Finally, he also had a good report from John himself. The apostle vouches for Demetrius with his own reputation and standing as an apostle.

 

B.     Would We Have A Good Report

1.      As I read this I can’t help but wonder, If God sent me or you with a letter of recommendation what would it say?  

2.      Would it say that you are a truth walker like Gaius?

a)      Do you stand for what is right, even when opposed?

b)      Do you have truth written within your heart through a relationship with Jesus?

c)      Do you show truth without by your actions?

d)      Do you care for those who have gone out to do the work of Jesus Christ?

3.      Do you have a good report of all men like Demetrius?

a)      Do we have a good reputation from those who know you?

b)      Is the truth evident in our lives

c)      Does the one who sent us have confidence in us? As John had in Demetrius?

4.      Quote- Truth lies in character. Christ did not simply speak the truth; he was Truth, truth through and through, for truth is a thing not of words but a life and being. -   Frederick William Robertson (1816-1853)

IV.            Conclusion:

 What will you gain by not having integrity? You may win an athletic event on a doubtful call, you may gain money because everyone cheats a little, you may gain a few hours sleep because you stayed in bed instead of  coming to church, you may gain some “me” time by not being where God needs you.

But, what will you lose by not “walking in truth?”  You may lose your family who will see a hypocrite instead of a Christian Dad or Mom, you may lose your reputation because people see you as being dishonest and unreliable, you may lose your friends because they can’t trust you, you may lose your church because it is here that the Holy Spirit convicts and repoves and that makes you uncomforatable. Ultimately, when enough of us quit walking in truth, you may lose your country because after 2 or 3 generations of men who live by what is best for them, this nation will grind to an immoral, selfish, self-centerd halt and wallow in its immorality and self-serving desires. It will die from the inside, from a cancer of dishonesty, a disregard of the truth and a willful destruction of integrity. Our children will worship in amoral churches, live in dishonest society and raise godless grandchildren who will break our hearts over and over and over. Seems like our country is almost there now, but it is just starting the future will be much darker unless we commit ourselves today to be Men and Women of Truth. 

John gave his highest praise to Gaius, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” If we will ever be able to say that about our children then we must first walk in the path of truth, and blaze a trail so that our children can follow us. This morning, be a truth walker, this morning commit yourself to living so that others will testify of the truth that is in you. This morning if you are a child of God begin acting according to the writing of the Spirit of the living God, inscribed in the tables of your heart.  Be the truth walker God saved you to be.