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When The Lord Makes Your Dinner

We all were kids once. We all can maybe remember saying “Mom, what’s for dinner?” And there were times as a kid my mom made food I wanted, other times not so. 

I can remember dreading the word, “peas” or “green beans.” In my kid mind it felt like a dreadful sentence of punishment to have to eat those bitter veggies.

Yet one time, I tried to not eat them, and mom and dad said, “Well, if you do not eat them tonight, you will eat them for breakfast instead of the cereal you like.”

 I do remember one time having to do that. Vegetables are necessary and good for health, but as a child I did not like them.

So too, often, God sets a plate before us that is good. Good for us, yet we may look at some of these things he allows to come into our lives as bitter, distasteful, unpleasant.

God’s Word is compares to “Bread” and “Man does not live by bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4)

There will be times where we may not like what God has to say. It may not be the easiest to swallow. Also he may allow certain things to come onto the plate of life that we highly feel are not to our benefit. However, God, like a wise mother who knows more then that child does, said to Ezekiel:

“And whether they listen or fail to listen —for they are a rebellious people —they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Ezekiel 2:5-8 – 

We may not understand or like it, yet we shall not be disappointed at the conclusion if we let God have His way and shape out lives for His glory and our greatest good.


Overwhelming Emotions of David

David felt in this moment doomed and forgotten by God. David seems to believe God is angry with him, “Why, Lord do you reject me and hide your face?”  

I do not think the Lord was truly hiding from David, and I certainly do not think God rejected him at all, after all, throughout Scripture the Lord speaks highly of David. 

Yet David says “I have borne your terrors and I am in despair,” and “Your wrath has swept over; your terrors have destroyed me.”

In moments like these we may feel like David, but God had not destroyed him or abandoned him.

At the end of David’s life before he appointed Solomon, his son, as next king, David affirms God has brought him through all the storms he has faced!

The king then took an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.” (1 Kings 1:29-30)

God never abandoned David, there were times in David’s life where God disciplined David for sin (2 Samuel 12 and 2 Samuel 24:11-14) Yet God never forsook David or abandoned his love for him.

What can we learn? Our emotions are not the best way to gauge how God sees us. Our circumstances can lie as well, we are often tempted to think “When all is going well, God must be pleased and blessing me, and when things are going bad, God is punishing me!” 

Yet this is not Biblical. It can be true that God can send troubles into our life to get a person’s attention or bring them to their knees in repentance. Yet hardships come on even God’s faithful followers and Jesus warns we will face troubles in this life (See John 16:33) also see (Psalm 34:19)

The thing we can experience in times of trouble or grief or sorrow or trouble is peace. Peace is the inner calmness and soothing power of God to hold our hearts together and protect us from panic or despair.

God want’s us to have the peace of Christ guard our hearts! (See Colossians 3:15 and Philippians 4:6-9)

Yet in order to truly experience this we must turn from our sin and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We cannot know peace till we know the Prince of Peace. 

Also, if we are saved even and we are living in willful disobedience and do not repent and confess our sin, we cannot truly have peace either

“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. (Job 22:21-27)

We must deal with our sin or any area of life we are not submitting to Christ’s Lordship. Then when we do, we can find peace and restored joy.

Anytime we as Christians even do not fully submit all areas of life to Him, we deprive ourselves of the wonderful experience of close intimacy with God. Jesus died on the cross to provide new life of joy and peace, and we sell ourselves short by not fully obeying Him in certain points of our Christian walk. 

We will lose out on so many of the great benefits that our salvation brings and we are really cheating ourselves, as well as Jesus who paid it all so we could have closeness with the Lord.

The Lord wants close relationship and we miss out on so much if we do not fully taste the wonderful friendship he made possible!

Saul, A Self Centered First King In Israel.

Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food. (1 Samuel 14:24)

King Saul was engaged in a bitter war with the Philistines and in this occasion he makes an oath that keeps his men from eating till as he put it “I have avenged myself on my enemies!” 

Yet Saul who had been going down a moral spiral of disobedience to the Lord eventually starts to make his kingly reign merely about himself.

God, many years earlier consents to giving them a king, though it was not his ideal design, but as we see, sometimes God consents to people’s demands and let’s them suffer the consequences thereof.

When Saul first becomes king:

Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. (1 Samuel 12:1-2)

Samuel warns them that if they and their king become unfaithful to God, they both will perish together, them and their king. 

Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.” Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel. The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.” (1 Samuel 12:17-25)

Eventually king Saul dies in a battle with the Philistines and David becomes king shortly later. 

Yet lets examine the life of king Saul and see how his words reflect his heart, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” 

Here we have him cause his own men problems with his oath as well as show he no longer is fighting these Philistines with the Lord’s glory in mind, but his own self centered desires. 

He says “Before I have avenged myself” then adds, “On my enemies!”

Yet these people were not merely Saul’s enemies, they were the Lord’s enemies, and the Lord had been using Saul to avenge Himself against His and Israel’s enemies!

First the kings duty should have been to the glory and purpose of God, and secondly to the good of the Lord’s people. Yet pride had gotten in Saul’s way. Sin had taken him down a trail of self centeredness and arrogance.

Let us also never forget, when it comes to our duty as Christians as individuals, or spiritual leaders. We should never make it about ourselves. Rather, as it says,

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

We are then told, what we do and say should reflect not merely our own desires but seek the good of others also

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Now, thoughtful application,- next time I make a decision, ask:

“Is this choice or what I’m about to say going to glorify God?

Then ask, “Is this choice, course of action or what I am about to say going to be of benefit to others?”

Reverse this and ask, “Do I just want to do or say this because I want to?

“Is this action or what I say only going to make me happy and benefit just me?”

God’s wisdom and how He calls us to live is summed up in this

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18)

Harvest After Life’s Storms

This Evening’s SermonHarvest after life’s storms

“He brings clouds to punish people,” and many may find themselves in a storm of life, dark clouds swirling about and the overwhelming heaviness of heart. Is that you dear reader? Do you find life seems dark and full of thunder and peels of lightning.

Even when a storm comes from our personal sin we are not without consolation if we turn to the Lord, even if it is His heavy hand upon our lot, if we trust His mercy and call to mind his compassion, we can have hope that once we humble ourselves he will lift us up.

Though He may bring the heavy hand and cloud to chasten ones sin, that is not entirely hopeless either if we respond right to what the hand of the Lord assigned. For it is only hopeless if we harden our hearts and rebel all the more. It is only hopeless if we in pride gnash our teeth at God’s heavy hand and fail to heed His reason for that cloud He summoned to do it’s work.

For the passage says also, “or to water the earth and show His love.”

Though trials brew and storm clouds settle. Let us not forget that if we humble ourselves before the Lord and receive His instruction from the cloud, we can then rejoice in the harvest it’s rain will produce in the soils of our life and soul.

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. (Job 5:17-18)

Though not all life trials are a direct result of personal sin, all trials should be a opportune occasion for personal purification and growth of faith. Whether storm clouds come from our backsliding in sin or just a part of life, the response to these always should be humbling ourselves to let God teach us, grow us, prune us, and prepare us to bear more fruit.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:2-5)

We must seek God’s wisdom in the cloudy days and thunderous nights. Then we can understand what we must learn and how we ought to respond if we want to see the soil of life produce it’s harvest and produce.

Yet let it not be said of us that our faith is not strong enough to handle the winds of adversity, 

When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever. (Proverbs 10:25)

Far to many encounter life’s woes and harden their hearts in bitterness and turn away from God. 

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

Trust the Lord even though he has by appearance let you suffer much and let you down, only in persevering through difficulty can we see the rainbow of victory at the end of our trials and tests

13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Luke 8:13-15)

“Where are you?” and “Come follow me!”

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)

I find this fascinating. We know that the Bible teaches God is a spirit. Yet we see him walking in human form here. God is everywhere, yet can take on a body as well and as we see clearly from the text that he is literally walking as an actual bodily being in the Garden calling out for them, Adam and Eve. 

Many get very confused when they hear thar the Scripture teaches Jesus was both human and divinely God at the same time. 

Jesus was the bodily form of God Most High. Jesus walked as God in the body on earth while God still inhabited heaven as God the Father.

Lets examine this very complicated theological concept. Though it be impossible
 I think for us to fully understand this. I do think it is possible to get a better grasp on it. 

Psalm 2 points us to the Messiah that was to come:

The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain. ” I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. Psalm 2:2-8 – 

We see also, when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river:

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

When referring back to Psalm 2 where it says, “You are my son; today I have become your father.” 

This verse could easily cause confusion. It almost seems to suggest that before the Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, that Jesus was not before that the Son of God. Yet, he was. He was God and God’s Son as well. Before Jesus was born into the world by means of human reproductive system, He was enthroned in glory and majesty.

Remember when the angel appears to Mary and says the Spirit of God would overshadow her and cause her to miraculously conceive, not by a human man, but the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit of God.

Yet Jesus says in his earthly ministry in His prayer to the Father in John 17

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:1-5)

Jesus was God’s physical manifestation among people He created for Himself.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 – 

Yet as sin entered the world, it has been broken ever since. They script writer looked down from on high and was displeased. He looked down and saw the thousands of years of mess that sin brought and it says:

Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along. “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 59:15-20 – 

The Great Script writer, the Omnipotent, all knowing and Omnipresent God scripts Himself into human History.

It truly is His story, and he came into the stage and “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 – 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 – 

Jesus came calling out to people like Adam and Eve saying “Where are you?”

The disciples—-
19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4:19-22)

The lame man who was healed:—

The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:13-14 – 

The woman at the well:

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” (John 4:7-26)

It could be also dear reader He has come looking for you, He could be saying, “Where are you?”

You may fear being discovered and say like the first man and woman said “We were afraid, so we hid”

Yet Jesus has come to take away guilt and sin and give you new life if you will respond to His call “Where are you?” And “Come follow me!”

Weakness to Strength, From Worm To Iron Threshing Sledge 

When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns. [1 Samuel 18:15-16]

King Saul became jealous and afraid of David. He began to see that the Lord was with David. 

It started after Goliath was defeated and the women came out singing over the victory.

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? ” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:6-9 – 

Goliath was clearly an eye sore and it was in Israel’s benefit, Saul’s benefit that Goliath was taken out. Yet Saul had a larger problem before him in his heart- he was not pleased David got the victory over Goliath because it took away from the praises Saul got for his victories. 

Truly David did not take the praises from Saul but rightfully gave the praise always back to the Lord, who was truly the one who toppled the 9 ft giant.

Saul though wanted the glory that did nor belong to him, or even David, but the Lord God who brought about victory for Israel.

During the span of time, David eventually is forced to flee for his life, away from the presence of Saul and his own family. Saul had benefited so much from David’s presence but then turned on him and started a relentless effort to kill David. David was on the run for years until finally Saul is slain by the Philistines in battle and David returns from the land of the Philistines to become Israel’s next king.

Yet during this season of hardship in David’s life, we see God’s favor rest upon him even while turmoil swirls about around him.

—These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle; 1 Chronicles 12:1 – 

Often in our lives we may go through hardships yet see how God is tremendously blessing us in the midst of troubles. Though life is not usually all good all the time, we can see some of our most fruitful years when the trials of life are going on!

David tasted this blessing himself. Though a fugitive on the run from Saul. God was bringing people into David’s life that helped him in battle. God was blessing David when Saul was trying to heap curses and take his life.

Human beings may try to create problems, yet God gives us His goodness and favor as we pursue Him!

These years of waiting on God on the run from Saul were not wasted. Rather God was preparing Israel’s next king! God was using the shadows of suffering and sorrow to groom His faithful servant who He was going to promote to a place of honor and responsibility later!

If we look at troubles the wrong way, we may entirely miss what treasures in darkness that we can lay hold of

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. (Isaiah 45:2-3)

Jesus said in other words a similar thing: “27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:27-31)

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:14-15 – 

Those dark places of life are so often where the Lord takes us into His secret counsel and reveals deep hidden things we know not. The greatest school teacher of the ways of the Lord and the wisdom of God are found most often not in Seminary, not in some theology class or text book, yet are taught by the Lord Himself in His curriculum of suffering. 

We grow most by far when hard pressed and bent low, when humiliation causes us to let go of pride and our own resources and knowledge, to seek God’s greater knowledge.

Indeed, when human help is no avail and our own devisings and careful plans are vain to deliver us. When we are pressed metaphorically between the impassible Red Sea of the tomorrow and the problems close in like Pharaoh and his vast army, encroaching on us with haste. 

That is when the Lord gains most glory for Himself, when we cry out and say “I cannot fix this one my God” 

It is then, truly then, the Lord impresses His truth into us deeper then ever that without Him we are always helpless and dependent on Him. Prosperity and ease to quickly tempt forgetfulness on our reliance on the Lord. To much ease can dull the heart of dependence and make us proud and feel unshakable,

When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. Psalm 30:6-7 – 

When troubles come and hardships strikes the core, we are often reminded we are mortal and so helplessly frail.

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Psalm 22:6-11 – 

Ah, but the blessedness thereafter, the blessedness when we learn to put our trust and hope only in the Lord our God! Human beings are no avail to us unless God himself supports them to support us. Yet all strength comes from our truest source, yes, the Lord Himself.

God can take a worm like we are and make us strong as iron when we seek Him and depend on His unlimited reserve of power!

Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. Isaiah 41:14-15 –

God Can Use Our Weaknesses

Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. (Acts 7:22)

This is how Scripture portrays Moses. Yet how did Moses see himself,

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10 – 

Then in Exodus 6:12 and Exodus 6:30, Moses kept bringing up to the Lord he spoke with faltering lips. Yet later on in Stephen’s sermon in the book of Acts, Stephen describes Moses as both powerful in speech and action.

The truth is we all have insecurities that we fear may keep us from ministering and doing the work of the Lord. However, it is not on us to accomplish results but be obedient.

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.” Exodus 4:13-17 – 

God gets a little ticked off at Moses here and says basically, “Moses, you are going and I won’t take your excuse, here to help you I will send your brother to to be your mouth for you.”

When dealing with insecurities we can take courage from stories like these. Moses had only a staff and when he allowed God to take possession of it

It transitions from being Moses’s staff to walk with to being “The staff of God”

So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand. Exodus 4:20 – 

An ordinary staff used to support weak legs maybe or help balance Moses. It became a consecrated instrument God used to bring the ten plagues and part the Red Sea. 

Now we must understand, God can take the ordinary things that show our weakness and make use of them. For where we are weak, he is strong and sufficient. As the Apostle Paul said, 
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

When we offer ourselves fully to God, he can use us, no matter how inadequate we may feel.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5)

God’s power can anoint even weakness, handy cap, struggle, our weaknesses and insecurity.

Do not let your limitations make you feel the Lord cannot use you. All power is His any ways and He is seeking merely willing volunteers. He has a unique calling for each individual to be a part of His overarching plan. All we have to do is be willing and make ourselves available!

Pilate’s Part To Play.

Sermon for tonight

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. (Acts 4:27)

Fascinating, the Scripture makes it sound as though Pilate with Herod conspired against Jesus. We know Pilate took a very passive push over approach to the whole thing. He tried very hard to feel less guilty over the matter. Yet the Scripture is clear Pilate was just as guilty of crucifying Christ as the angry mob who desired it.

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:24-25)

Indeed it was on the people and their children, and indeed Pilate was still guilty of Jesus’s blood on his own hands as well.

Pilate’s indecision, was his decision. Pilate became guilty of Christ’s blood even though he tried to assuage his guilty conscience. 

Many today also may say, “Well I am not against Jesus or his teaching. I think he was a wise teacher and a good man.”

Pilate thought that even. Yet Pilate was to afraid to believe In Jesus as His personal Lord and Savior for fear of an angry crowd. Pilate skidded the issue then finally shuffles Jesus off to the crowd.

The same principle applies when Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Matthew 12:30)

Many may not consider themselves against Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus says here if you are not believing in Him as Savior and following him as Lord, you are against him.

To live in sin is to be against Christ. Pilate turns away from Christ and heeds the demands of the wicked Jewish mob.
Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. (Proverbs 28:4)

Pilate rejects instruction and turns away from Christ and in that sense he gives into the crowd and “praises the wicked”

Yet we all apart from the blood of Christ spilled are wicked and sinful, when we turn to Christ for forgiveness of sin, we become new! Whenever someone turns to Christ and begins to follow Him with their lives, they become a testimony of a life God amazingly changes, and a light!

In that way when this happens, the person turning from the kingdom of darkness of sin to Jesus Christ- they do what the latter part of the Proverb says “but those who heed it resist them.”
Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

When we turn to Christ from sin, we come out of darkness and now ought to walk out our new identity as adopted children of God!

True Power That Changes Your Life.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. (Ezekiel 33:32)

It’s one thing to say one is a Christian, say they believe in Christ, go to church every Sunday but it takes true power to live it out.

It takes power to live out what is taught in the Word and incorporate it into our daily lives, in every area of life. It takes power to let God’s Word shape your thinking, speaking, finances, marriage and family life. It takes power to let God’s Word shape how you work at your job. It takes power to let God’s Word change how you respond to pressures of life, difficult people, unfair situations and every interaction you have.

The World needs to see more of Christ’s power exerted through Christ’s people! Not just “one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.” 

James tells us faith without actions that follow is a dead faith. Indeed we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone, yet that should bear evidence in how we live that we truly belong to Christ. Jesus says himself in John 3:3, “Unless a man be born again, he will not see the kingdom of God.”

True change that makes us able to not just know we should not do certain things but brings power to live a whole new way. A new nature, and the Spirit led life.

Until that change takes place, we may try as hard as we want to “be good” but always find that the way our skin and mind pulls us is to “be bad”

And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:16-18)

When we are trying by human strength, the flesh, to live the Spiritual life, we cannot. That is why as Christians we must continually seek the Lord for His power to replace our lack of power. 

We do this by seeking Him regularly, soaking up His strength and abandoning self effort and asking Him to take the wheel of our life.

For “Apart from me you can do nothing” Jesus said in John 15:5

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Prison Ship Vehicle Of The Gospel.

The Apostle Paul was on a ship headed to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. It was no cruiz ship but he was bound in chains for the proclaiming of the Gospel.

Yet this did not stop God’s powerful work in people’s lives or in Paul’s life either. On the ship in chains, not the most comfortable situation. Yet the storm came and God was using Paul to bring hope to the prisoners as well as the Roman soldiers who were guarding them.

Let us never think God cannot use us in a situation that may feel quite confining. Paul had spent many times in prison. Yet Paul’s overruling passion to share the Gospel was by God’s sovereign plan winning out!

When we too align our hearts with God’s passions, we can have joy in any situation. Paul’s greatest desire was that God be glorified and the message of Christ be proclaimed and people come to know Him!

We see this happening in spite of being often in chains and facing large amounts of opposition. Paul saw the bright side of things though, Jesus was drawing people! Paul was most likely so joyful and enable to endure all he did because his focus was on Jesus’s glory and other’s good.

When our focus is that way, we can truly overflow with great joy and see God do amazing things and draw people to Himself!

Had Paul gotten caught up with the unfairness of the situation he may have been bitter and angry. Yet Paul looked at it as a grans opportunity to make Jesus known!

Psalms 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Where was Paul’s delight? In Christ, in making the gospel known and seeing people eternally spared the wrath of God!

Paul was thrilled, even in chains, even unfairly accused and persecuted. And we can have this same radiating joy if we get our hearts centered on Christ and His mission.

Jesus taught “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

Paul discovered how to treasure Christ above all and treasure the salvation message. As a result he could delight and find joy even in bad situations.

Too easily, especially here in the west as believers, we too easily treasure comforts, convenience, materialistic prosperity or things that are not necessarily bad in and of themselves, but can be if that is what we live for and grow too attached to.

When times are good, praise the Lord! When times are rough, praise the Lord, for as it is written, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

When we have Him, we have all we need, a provider, protector, comforter and a “Shield and exceedingly great reward!”
God will provide what we need in His way and time and keep us alive till he calls us home!