Trusting the Wrong Things

Whatever we put too must trust in becomes like a god to us, and we are warned in Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me”

We are told that those who trust the wrong things end up suffering for it, “This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
Jeremiah 17:5-6 –

Yet vs 7- 8

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 –

Ultimately we never go wrong trusting the Lord and living for Him. He is our true source of strength and provision. When we turn to other things we will see that those things really cannot help us much at all.

Some turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, relational attachments to take their focus off their problems. Others try to stockpile as much money and possessions as the can to ease their fears about future lack. People seek happiness and security often in the wrong places- but we as believers know that only God is truly the only real sure thing we have and is more secure then anything this world has to offer.

Feeding The Right Appetite

TODAY’S SERMON

The Lord does not let the righteous
go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. Proverbs 10:3 –

How does God actually thwart the cravings of the wicked? What does this mean. Well first there I believe are several applications and facets to this.

When we are doing God’s will and living for Him, we can claim the promise Jesus made im Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added to you also.”

What was Jesus meaning by “All these things” well daily needs to survive. Yet the wicked cannot claim that verse as a promise for themselves since they are not meeting the prerequisites

•seek first his kingdom
• and his righteousness

Also there is a spiritual application. Jesus also said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled”

Meaning their desire will be satisfied and hunger satiated. Not so with those who crave evil or hunger after sinful things. Look no further then for example addiction- no matter how much the person indulges an illicit craving- whether alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever the vice may be, we see they can never fully satisfy the addictive cravings.

This is terrible way to live. To live controlled by sinful appetites. We all know what it is to struggle with some sort of sin or vice. Yet Christ came to free us from that kind of life ao we can truly be fulfilled and satisfied in knowing him. Greed, lust, and addictions of various kinds never satisfy the soul but only leave an empty hollow void.

So what if the person reading this says “This speaks to me, I feel it describes my present state, what can I do to be free!”

Well Jesus came to die for the worst of sinners on the cross and rose again from the grave, to free us all from sin and the ways that lead to death. Call upon the Lord and seek Him for forgiveness and grace to live a new life- no longer a slave to things that are empty, useless, and never satisfy the soul!

False Teachers VS True Christ Followers

Today’s Sermon, False Teachers vs True Christ Followers.

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2 Peter 2:17-19 –

Peter wrote this 2nd chapter of 2 Peter to warn about false teachers. Notice how he says one mark of a false teacher is

“They mouth empty, boastful words”

• There was recently a television preacher who claimed he had been told by God he would live to 120 years old. This teacher obviously cannot really figure out when exactly the date of his death will be, he will most likely not live to be 120 either.

James even warns we should not boast about tomorrow, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
James 4:13-16 –

Yet Peter warns that false teachers will often mouth “empty boastful words”

• Secondly, false teachers win a large following by “by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, “

How do so many false teachers get so far, well for one, they offer a message that appeals to carnal nature. For example: we all have probably heard of cults where the leader of the cult has preached false doctrine to support evil sinful things such as having multiple wives, or used their preaching to grow filthy rich.

Undoubtedly such false teachings appeal to fleshly desires of greed and lust. God’s Word is clear that a man should only have one wife, and that ministry is not a means to financial gain

Yet what does Scripture say: “and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:5-10 –

1 Timothy 6 continues to urge us what we should pursue though: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:11-12 –

There we have it? What is the ultimate riches we should pursue? “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness” and through this pursuit by faith we will lay hold of “Eternal life” to “which we were called.”

Jesus Christ is our ultimate source of treasure. Not wealth, not popularity or other things. There is nothing more valueble then being able to stand before Him one day and have him say “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Why Do We Still Struggle With Sin As Christians? Video.

Illustration. Many wonder why we still sin if we are new in Christ. Well there was a news story long ago where there was a young woman who was horribly neglected by her parents. When police found her, she was living in a dog house with dogs. She crawled on all fours like a dog, tried to bark like a dog. Yet she was so used to being treated like a dog, in her mimd she thought she was a dog.

Now that is how she was living all her life. It probably took extensive time and professional intervention to help her become like a normal human being.

Yet spiritually, we too have gotten so used to sinning by nature, we do not just unlearn that over night. Christ saves us the moment we believe the gospel, and continues to work with us to restore us from the effects sin has had on us all our lives up until we get saved. So through persevering we unlearn old patterns and behaviors and grow to more and more reflect our true new identity

“But God did not give David into his hands”


Today’s Sermon:
“but God did not give David into his hands”
What are you facing reader?

Do you feel your enemies are relentless in hot pursuit? Do you feel overwhelmed by what you see in the news? Or maybe perhaps your in your own personal wilderness dealing with struggles few know. Whatever the threat maybe, we are that relying on the Lord is where we will find strength. Whether you face fears of what this virus has caused. Whether you may be facing some human adversary. Whatever we face whether fear of future or present crushing problems around us, David sets an example for us all as believers.
After years of being hunted by jealous king Saul, whom God protected him from, David faces other challenges in addition.
We will look at 1 Samuel 30, David and his men came back to where they were staying and found the Amalekites had raided the land. The men returned to find “When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. (1 Samuel 30:3-4)
David is not only distraught himself but things get worse, for it says: “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6 –
David was their leader, but they started to take their pain and frustration out on him. Have you ever been in that position? First lets ask, “How often when we are in a dire place and hard place so easily look for someone to blame!” The men who followed David too their frustration out on their leader and almost stoned him. Yet David “Found strength in the Lord his God”
Ah, yes, the situation was not fully resolved till a little later, but David found strength in the Lord to cope in the meantime. It is called the “mean” time for a reason. During seasons of great pressure, time seems to prolong the agony of what we may be dealing with- but never as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ do we have to be without aid or help from on high.
God can often do several things when we face challenges beyond our ability to cope. One is he answers an urgent prayer and solves the problem with a quick solution. Yet, often, he may instead give us strength and grace to get through, tell us to wait in patience until he leads us out of it. Or, he may give us strength to presently endure it and then like He did with David call for a step of faith and obedience.
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod. ” Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. ”
1 Samuel 30:7-8 –
Lets examine this, if David had not done what God advised and commanded, then this story would end tragically here. Yet he trusted God and obeyed Him fully and God gives those Amalekites into the hands of David and his fighting men, we see this
David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 1 Samuel 30:17-19 –
Yet lets also look at how the men with David also did right, they chose to follow the Lord’s instructions and follow David into battle.
If they had gone through with blaming him for their hardship and stoning him, they would never recover what the Amalekites stole. So they pushed the discouragement aside and chose to follow David even though at the moment they feel he let them down!
Ah and dear readers, maybe you feel let down by your leader, your Lord, your master today. You may say well, “Why trust the Lord cause he seems to have let me down!” Yet do not turn back following Him because of temporary disappointment in where He has seemed to lead you,- though he leads us into troubled waters at time, that is not the time for giving up and despair or losing faith in Him. After all David’s men still followed their imperfect leader again when the odds were stacked against them, and they recovered so much! Yet dare we have leas faith in our commander who is perfect then these men had in their imperfect commander David?
Indeed some of us are too easily put off or shocked by hardness, that we fail to persevere to finally see the glorious outcome. So dear reader, let it not be said of you, but let it be said rather, you persevered and overcame and inherited a blessing through it.

Helpful Bible Tools To Understand The Old Testament

Notice here in the map there is only 11 tribes allocated sections of land in Israel. Why is that?

Well the Lord gave this direction to Moses concerning the tribe of Levi

The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.
Numbers 18:20-21 –

So what does this mean, Levi was the only tribe among the 11 that did not get their own section of land names after them.

Each of these 12 tribes came to be names after Jacob’s sons, Levi, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Asher, Naphtali, Gad, Reuben, Dan.

Joseph son of Jacob, had two sons, Ephraim and Mannaseh

So Jacob before he died said to Joseph,

“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.
Genesis 48:5-6 –

Knowing this information helps us understand what Jacob actually meant when he said Joseph’s two sons, “Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine,”

Meaning that those two boys would have tribes named after them in the Promised land.

We must also understand where we get the term “Israel” from. Yes Israel is an actual nation/country. But Israel at one time was a singular person

We see Jacob had a name change in Genesis 32

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Genesis 32:28 –

So Jacob and Israel are synonymous when speaking about a singular person, that is Abraham’s grandson.

Hope you find this information helpful when you read through the Old Testament. Some of the Old Testament can be very confusing and it helps to have the tools to properly cut a steak well, so too we need to use certain tools to dig into the meat of God’s Word before we can properly chew it and digest what we read

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 1 Samuel 3:7
When it came to the prophet Samuel. He too had to start somewhere in his journey to become the man of God that the Lord selected him to be.
It says “The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” and so it is true with anyone else also who must hear the Word of God and come to faith. In James in the New Teatament we see, “ He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
James 1:18 –
So we could assume that by Samuel hearing the Word of God, His heart became believing in the Lord. And as it teaches in the New Testament
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17 –
So in Samuel’s case, He heard the Word of The Lord and was born into God’s purpose and life he was called to be!
Ah but also Samuel’s physical birth was also a miracle. His mother Hannah prayed in tears for a child and then made good on her promise that if the Lord gave her a son, she would dedicate him back to the Lord!
Ah, we see how her prayers were answered and Samuel became not just an answer to a barren woman’s desperate prayer for a child but he became a part of God’s overarching plan He had in mind.
Many times believing parents worry over their will turn out. Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord after she had weaned him, she then releases him into the care of the Lord.
Ah but we also must understand, those who have children, and are trying so hard to instill godly values and hopefully these children turn out to be followers of the Lord also. You can give these young children the weaning of godly example, teaching them and imparting to them knowledge of God’s Word, yet there comes a time, where a godly parent can do nothing more but release their children into God’s hands and hope that
“the word of the Lord” will come, and they too will be saved by it. In Hannah’s case she literally breast fed the baby Samuel and after he was weaned turned him trustingly over the the hands of the Lord. Yet many parents in a metaphorical since will try to nourish their children with the milk of good example, godly upbringing and teaching them who the Lord is and what the Bible says
Yet there comes a time where that son pr daughter is grown and reaches an age they must decide themselves. Yet that hold true for all our loved ones who “do not yet know the Lord”
We can only really impart the truth and knlwledge we know, we can live godly lives and be examples, but like young Samuel, only a visitation from the Spirit of God and His Word from His mouth can convince them.
I reiterate: “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 1 Samuel 3:7
So what happened? The Lord came to Samuel personally as Samuel lay down to sleep. The Lord came in his alone moment and revealed Himself to young Samuel!
And so it is the case with each of us, we all too must have that personal encounter – we were once not believers but God’s Word at last came in that mysterious way only He could bring about, and we became aware we were sinners, needing forgiveness and we felt the love of Christ draw our hearts. We became new and our lives became devoted to the Lord!
What could Hannah do though? Well obviously she was such a godly mother and example. Ah and she regularly came to see him and obviously had such a mother’s heart to her
Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
1 Samuel 2:19 –
Yet she could not do what only God could to, that was to take Samuel and bring His Word into Samuel’s heart and by doing so, bring a spiritual birth. Jesus said “Unless a man be born again, he will not see the kingdom of God”
And only the Holy Spirit of God can take the seeds of the Word sown in hearts of people and breath on them and cause their to be growth!
Ah, but what Hannah did was not useless, her efforts were valueble. And so too we must follow that example to be a godly example, and be a person of prayer like she was. Dare not think Hannah who prayed for that boy to be born from the start gave up praying for him after he was born! Hannah could trust the Lord to open her womb to give her Samuel to begin with, and obviously she trusted that same God enough with the future of her beloved boy!!
So we too should do what we can for our loved ones and share God’s Word with them, we cannot though force them to decide, only God can bring about that miracle of spiritual rebirth, and we ought to continue praying for our loved ones, our children, and those around us who hear the Word shared. – Yet we trust God for the actual results of our efforts. Without Him involved, our efforts are indeed in vain.
It did not stop there though, we see later:
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
1 Samuel 3:19-21 –
Samuel continued to grow in his knowledge of the Lord and it says “The Lord contninued to appear in Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word”
So we start at coming to faith, but as Jesus said
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 –
The moment we come to faith in Christ we start our journey and should be always growing in our knowledge, our love, our devotion to Him! We will keep growing if we continue in that path.

Banished Lion

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:8-9 –

Interesting fact about lions, male lions can sometimes become solitary if one loses in a competition to be leader of the pride. The lion who is defeated male often will be forced out of the group and roam solitary.

This depiction Peter uses to describe the devil is very appropriate. The devil was ousted from heaven for his attempts to become just like the Most High. The Lion of Judah, often used to describe Christ has defeated this foe.

Yet the devil does prowl the earth in efforts to deceive and devour prey

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:12 –

Though the devil has no fighting chance against God, he still tries to do as much harm as he can until God has him thrown into the pit.

Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have came to give you life and life abundantly.”

Satan is a thief that desires to steal, kill, and destroy. He seeks to steal people for his evil purposes, and get them to kill their souls by going where he will end up. He desires to destroy faith and families and people through all sorts of harmful desires and vices.

Yet as Christians we have a message of hope and restoration we should go forth and keep sharing. Jesus came to restore us, heal us and free us from sin that benefits us in no way. Sin destroys lives, family, people and nations. Yet Jesus offers true life and purpose. Jesus wants to free us from deadly things we are so prone to be drawn into.

There is hope in the gospel of Christ. Tomorrow we will remember how Jesus Christ rose again after he died in our place. He has been victorious over the devil, that old prowling ousted lion.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Psalm 91:9-13 –

We who have been saved by Christ have his power to “Tread on the lion” and “the cobra”

Jesus said it like this: “19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:19-20 –

Jesus was saying to his disciples who had believed in Him and followed Him that they had power over all the “power of the enemy” but not focus on Satan but rejoice they had eternal life through him.

We too can have this joy. We too have power of Christ to overcome sin and all temptations we face. We have victory through Him!

Encounter With Power

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 –

Ah unschooled and ordinary were Peter and John, but they were close to the Lord and became mightily strong. Time with Jesus is truly the key, and in His presence we will truly be free. They amazed those who saw them and left them greatly amazed, when the saw they were just average men who on Jesus had gazed.

Ah true power is not in ourself or what we do know, but whom we follow will cause us to glow. Beholding the face of the Lord is our true and only source of success- look to Him continually and truly be blessed.

The Psalmist does say “Look to the Lord continually, seek his strength always” and behold our power comes when on Him do we gaze.

For as it is written, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6)

Do you feel weak today my dear reader, do you feel underprepared? Turned to the Lord and seek Him in prayer.

Do you feel overwhelmed and defeated with in, draw close to Christ and wholly seek Him.

Do you feel overwhelmed with foes from without or temptations from within, then call unto the Lord for He will defend.

Do you feel like you lack something that you truly need to survive, well turn to your shepherd and he will provide.

For truly dear reader if you belong to Christ and claim Him as your own, even in suffering light will be sown

For behold it says “But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
Job 36:15 –

We may pass through troubled waters, stormy winds about, yet in our distress we must call to the Lord and lift up a shout.

Though we pass through the fires and the flames burn so hot, we must not forget His words of encouragement that He graciously taught

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 –

Well then dear reader, if He has overcome the world and he holds you by the hand, then he will lead you forth to victory also and into a better land.

Here in this life we see many troubles and trials, but fret not, only for a season and a little while.

Be strong and take heart, heaven is ahead. Yet fear not now either, he will provide today our daily bread.

Trust Him and follow and fear not what is in the future to come, because you can have confidence in the Son.

Stress not right now, worry not for then, fix your eyes only truly on Him.