God is a God of preparation.
And, there are many certainties in life which we should be prepared for.
* It is certain that you and your family will need to eat today.
* It is certain that you will need clean clothes this week.
* It is certain that your mortgage, rent or utility bills will need to be paid this month.
* It is certain that your taxes will have to be paid this coming year.
* It is certain that you will need more in your future.
* It is certain that someone will teach your children what ‘no’ means.
* It is certain that you will have happy times and sad times in your life.
* It is certain that you will die one day and leave everything you have worked for to others you cannot control.
* It is certain that you will spend eternity in the grace or outside of the grace of God.
There are many certainties in our future from simple daily needs to great adventures of faith and destiny. We must realize that …
Life demands preparation.
Preparation requires someone look far enough down the road to foresee and forecast the need and plan for it. From today’s meal to eternity’s estate … Life demands preparation.
God is a planner. He is never caught unaware or unprepared. And that’s how He would like for us to be.
We should be prepared for our everyday responsibilities and for the once in a lifetime, great and awesome adventures of faith.
This morning we are going to look at a few bible characters, some who were and some who were not prepared for the certainties life.
It is my hope that we can use these scriptures as God intended, as a guide, an instruction manual, if you will, for our lives today.
The first bible character we will look at is King Saul of
Saul was a tall, strong, good looking man whom God chose to be the first king over His children, the nation of
However, Saul was not adequately prepared for a certainty we all face in life … Fear!
The fear I am referring to is a lack of trust in God, who God is and what God will do. Many people in the Bible faced this type of fear.
We see it in:
* Aaron, when he made the golden calf for
* Sarah when she had passed the time of life to have children.
* We see it in Job who lived in fear that his children were not pleasing to God.
25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.
* We see this in the New Testament parable of the talents … this man had a poor and critical image of God as someone who could not be trusted. He was afraid and fear makes irrational decisions.
Matthew 25 NKJV
24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 ‘And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
Now back to Saul: When God was willing to bless and favor King Saul, Saul allowed fear to dominate his decisions and instead of waiting on God, Saul went ahead of God to secure his own success. Listen to what the prophet Samuel said to Saul as a result:
1 Samuel 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon
It is certain that each of us will be tempted with fear to prejudge God or to take matters into our own hands. We need to prepare ourselves for those days when it seems like God is not hearing or not responding quick enough to satisfy our own desires.
The best way to defeat the temptation to let fear move you into making bad decisions is to cover yourself with the truth of God’s Word which says:
Psalms 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (NIV)
When you are looking for a scripture to motivate you, don’t look for threats, look for promises.
Not only is fear a formidable opponent of God’s will for your life but there is also the element of Greed.
Greed finds its root in selfishness. I believe all Sin has its origin in selfishness and all selfishness leads to sin.
There are several bible characters that epitomize greed. Some who changed and some who died greedy. Remember:
* Zacchaeus, the tax collector of
* Laban, Jacob’s greedy uncle in Genesis, who eventually lost it all … he never changed.
* The rich man in Luke 12 who had so much that he did not know what to do with it all so he decided to build bigger barns to horde it for his future … he died and left it all behind for others.
* Nabal in 1 Samuel 25 who refused to give any help to David because of his greedy spirit … he failed to see the greatest opportunity of his life, to bless the soon to be crowned King of Israel … greed blinded him and he died 10 days after refusing David’s request and David ended up getting it all and getting Nabal’s young and pretty, wise and eloquent wife. Greed makes bad decisions too.
* Greedy Balaam in Numbers 22.
However, I think the best example for us this morning will be found in the story of the young man who came to Jesus asking to be included in His Kingdom’s future. Let’s turn in our bibles to Mark 10.
Mark 10 NKJV
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
19 "You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’"
20 And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth."
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me."
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the
How can we defeat the temptation to be greedy, to live a life motivated by selfishness and trust in riches?
Again, the best way to defeat the temptation to be selfish and greedy is to apply the Word of God to your soul and renew your mind with His will.
If you face temptations in this area of your life memorize:
Proverbs 11:25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.
And make your faith declaration daily.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2008 is:
“To walk God’s best path for my life.”
To examine my life and rid myself of fear, greed and selfishness.
I want to encourage you also to examine your life and make your New Year’s Resolution to include becoming the kind of person whom God wants to bless, favor and use. It’s your choice. Give God the time and opportunity to prepare you, guide you and use you.
Rid yourself of fear, greed and selfishness in 2008. You can change. Decide now to trust the Lord with your future … prepare yourself to be a blessing and give more of yourself to others this coming year.