You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

I have been woefully absent from blogging for a long time. In the midst of life adjustments I forgot about blogging, but I think I’m back. And I have also moved.

Come check out the new digs here: www.EveryManComplete.com

Thanks to S.D. Smith for pointing out this little video to me.

HT: S.D. Smith

In the last post we saw what happened in Moses’ life to bring him to discouragement and asking for God to take his life and how we take responsibility upon ourselves that God didn’t give, we can quickly become discouraged.  Today we will look at another Man of God who experienced one of the most spectacular outpourings of God’s power in I Kings 18 and then quickly became very discouraged and asking the same that Moses did.

Elijah

1 Kings 18:20-41

In I Kings 18 we see Elijah calling from heaven fire to consume the false gods of Baal, – The Battle of Gods!! (You know the gist: 4 water pots of water 3 different times; then burned the sacrifice). But not only 24 hours later Elijah is running from jezebel, I Kings 19:1-4. First, read the entire account of Elijah on Mount Carmel in I Kings 18 and then follow with me to see what happened to Elijah.

Five reasons why Elijah became so discouraged:

1.   He was not thinking realistically or clearly. – 19:2 – Think about it. The threat hadn’t come from God; it had come from an unbelieving, over controlling wife who was under God’s control. Here’s a simple principle: “When a mule kicks you, don’t let it bother you. Just consider the source.”

2.   He had the “poor me” syndrome. – 19:4 – Self-pity is a pathetic emotion. It will lie to you. It will exaggerate. It will drive you to tears. It will cultivate a “victim mentality” in your head. And, in the worst-case scenario, it can bring you to the point of wishing to die, which is exactly where Elijah was. He said, “For I am not better then my fathers.” Who said you had to be? He told himself that!!

3.   He was tired & the body affects the brain. – 19:5-9 – Your mom was right, when you don’t have the proper rest for your body and the proper food, mark it down your on your way to discouragement. “You’ll break the bow if you keep it always bent!”

4.   He had got away from the fellowship of God’s people. – 19:10 – When you miss the fellowship of God’s people, mark it down your on the road to discouragement. Discouraged people are usually lonely people. God has not designed us to live like hermits in a cave. He has designed us to live in friendship and fellowship and community with others.

5.   He began fruit counting. – 19:18 – God did for Elijah what I have never seen. He showed him the fruit of his ministry. We will not know our impact until we are home, and we are not home yet.

Maybe you know someone who is discouraged – run through this list again with them, and evaluate why they are feeling this way. Review these in your own life: when you become discouraged, is it because one of these five areas listed above is the reason? With God’s power and the Holy Spirit’s direction in pointing out these areas in your life, you can overcome this discouragement. Find someone that is a strong faithful believer and seek their counsel and accountability in the areas where you struggle.

Tomorrow we will tackle the final post from my sermon on “Dealing with Discouragement” and will study the character Jonah.

Take heart,

-jeff

I mentioned in a prior post that I was preaching this weekend (May 31st). Some have asked if I would post the message so I am breaking up the sermon into three posts this week (If I posted the entire thing at one time it would be really long).

Post one will cover the first point in my sermon, Moses. But before we dig into the text, let me set the stage.

Overview of the subject: There are three main reasons for discouragement through our study.

  1. Sin: example of this can come in self-pity. The “why me ‘O Lord” complaint to God. It could also be just plain ‘ole disobedience.
  2. We don’t understand GodIsaiah 55:8-9 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God is bigger then us – He is infinite and we are finite.
  3. We are too busy: we have forgotten about God, we have too many irons in the fire and we don’t spend enough time with our Savior.

Moses

Moses was a mere man that was empowered by God to go directly to the Prime Minister of the World and ask for His people. “Ya Pharoah, I want my 3 million people and their livestock, their money and were going to march out of here.” How could a man of this stature and experience come to a point in his life to ask God to take his life?

Let’s look at Numbers 11:1-15

First, the people complained and God brought fire and destroyed some of them, literally killed some of the people. Second, after seeing this the rabble or mob continued on badgering Moses. Literally they “desired a desire”, they were bored wanted to complain for the sake of complaining. The people wanted meat and not just meat, they wanted what they had back in Egypt. They quickly had forgotten how bad it was and all they longed for “was the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic” v.5

These people were stuck on stupid. They had not learned their lesson.

So when Moses had heard their complaints, he became very discouraged. He wasn’t thinking realistically and wanted to just quiet the people by giving them what they desired. Moses brings five questions to God in verse 11-15.

Here are the five questions and one request Moses poses to God.

  1. Why are you so hard on me?
  2. Why am I not in better favor with you?
  3. Did I conceive these people? (Am I their foster-father?)
  4. Did I father them and should wait on them hand & foot?
  5. Where am I going to get meat?
  6. And his one request: please kill me.

Here is the point I want to make: Where does it say in the Bible that Moses had to provide steak every night? It doesn’t say that. Moses was asked to lead and God would do the rest.

I do know that we’ve all struggled with this in own lives. But why do we think we deserve better than what we have? Faith in Jesus does not guarantee that everything will go our way. We deserve Hell, plain and simple. We have no right to question God and yet we all do.

Moses took a responsibility upon himself that God never gave to him. Remember that when God gives you a responsibility, He will also give you the ability. As one of my professors would say in college, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

We can deal with discouragement by realizing what God has called us to do and doing it faithfully. But we will face incredible amounts of discouragement if we take a responsibility upon ourselves that God didn’t give us. That is what Moses did. May we learn from his example.

My next post will deal with Elijah and the discouragement he suffered.

-jeff

Today I am finishing up on a sermon that I am preaching on Sunday evening. Since December I have not had a lot of opportunities to preach or teach and so when the time comes to preach, I get kind of giddy. I also don’t like to share beforehand on what I am preaching about, and I not sure why that is. Maybe I enjoy the secrecy or maybe I’m afraid someone will say something to change my mind on the content of my sermon.

dealingwithdiscouragementBut for full disclosure I will share what my sermon title and some content will be. I will be preaching a topical sermon (a type of sermon that I really don’t enjoy preaching or hearing – I won’t get into that :0) on the topic of “Dealing with Discouragement”. I am using three individuals from the Old Testament: Moses, Elijah & Jonah to give examples on how NOT to allow ourselves to get discouraged and then apply ways on how we can defeat and eliminate discouragement from our lives.

I will post my notes next week  in multiple posts and hopefully it will bring some discussion.

Maybe even have some audio if they record it (I’m not a big fan of hearing myself preach).

-jeff

(picture from http://www.roswellcommunity.org/Media%20-%20Sermons%20-%202007.htm)

Although most of this conference could be applied to anyone who is faithfully serving in a local church, Rykien’s message seemed to apply most to those that are called into full-time Christian service, namely those called to preach the Word faithfully each week. I certainly don’t want to corner him into that only application, but that is how I understood the thrust of his preaching.

The most identifiable attribute to his sermon was this idea that fruitful and successful ministry ONLY comes through faithfulness. “There are many times in ministry when we are carried by the Holy Spirit”.

His points were:

  1. An Apostolic Call to Faithful Ministry (2 Timothy 1:13-14)

Being a faithful minister requires being of sound faith – sound doctrine! And this comes only through the power of Christ Jesus. To trust Jesus for everything – that breeds faithfulness. It is not us, it is not what I do… it’s Jesus! And then… get this, He entrusts US! Wow, again God shows Himself powerful and personal in that He choose me – not just for salvation, but to go and preach the gospel of which I have been entrusted.

Am I faithful?

  1. A Personal Example of Faithful Ministry (1:15-18)

He shared that it is hard to continue in the ministry – we see men all the time that fall away. They choose to leave the ministry for an easier 9-5 job.

Paul didn’t want Timothy to quit, to give up. He wanted to instill in him the need to have faithfulness in ministry, because it will get hard.

  1. A Sacred Trust Transmitted to Faithful Men (2:1-2)

Paul was in the business of training others to do the work of the ministry. He knew that someday he would have to die for the sake of the gospel and the ministry needed to continue. Praise God for this! He wanted Timothy to do the same, train faithful men to teach others also. I was struck with how this has happened in my life – what men have poured their time and effort into my life? There are many and I am very thankful for their sacrifice.

  1. Illustrations of Faithful Work (2:3-7)

He reminded of the need to keep focused on the task at hand. As Paul says, “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” v. 2:4 Why do we entangle ourselves in things that have no eternal significance? Don’t get distracted in the ministry with fruitless pursuits. God has enlisted us and we should want to please Him with our ministry.

  1. Command to Remember the Faithful Savior (2:8-13)

Remember Jesus! Preach the Gospel to yourself each day – don’t forget what the price was paid for you.

Remember the absolute faithfulness of a faithful God! How can He be anything but faithful? Even our unfaithfulness cannot stop a faithful God. Amen!

Great session – go get the audio!

-jeff

Today is the last day of the conference and I know I wanted to write about all the sessions, I will. I am planning on posting that this week. It has been a refreshing week with good preaching, good teaching and good fellowship with other believers from all over the world. Check back to hear more about the conference sessions and for the links to listen to the audio yourself.

-jeff

The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago this coming week (Tuesday 21-Thursday 23) will be web-casted live on Christianity Today’s website. Click here to follow all of the messages online.

Check back each day for my response to the day’s messages!

-jeff

Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,703 hits

I’m a book reviewer

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers