Sunday, June 29, 2014



Key Scriptures: John 8 NKJV
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This week we will celebrate the 238th birthday of United States of America. People from Sea to shining Sea will remember those 56 brave men who together pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors as they each signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Every man who fixed their names to that document realized that they were signing their death warrants and placing a bounty on their heads as traitors to the King and Crown of England. These valiant men rightly stood against the tyranny and injustice of their day and determined their course for one common reason – they wanted to be free!

The desire to be free is the first step towards freedom. The first step of many might I say. You see, there must first be a want to before there is a will to do.

It is a bit ironic that “Freedom” costs more than anything else in the world. Although freedom is not necessarily for sale but it can be purchased.

The passion to be free so that one might enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what still drives people from nations around the world to sell everything they have, brave the unknown hardships, cross hostile borders and risk losing it all in attempts to gain entry into the United States of America. America is still the land of opportunity for every race, language, color, creed, religious conviction, cultural experience, age and/or economic status of either gender. America has been blessed by God is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let’s watch this video:

What makes America one nation under God? Her people … you and me.
  • We are a nation of people with a government with a government, not a government with a people.
  • We the people of the United States of America choose our government like we choose our God.
  • By and large the people of the United States of America choose Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and God’s Word as our final authority.

God is not finished blessing America … how can we help Him? We must continue to be a people whom the Lord will bless. First we must:

  1. Stand free
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
  • Free from sin; sickness; worry; poverty; defeat; fear of death; & hell

  1. Don’t get entangled again
Galatians 2: 8 "For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
  • Backslide; stray; walk away; or return to old habit patterns or worldly lifestyles

  1. Use your freedom to serve others
Galatians 5
13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • We have been freed first so that we can set others free as well ..
  • How can a person accomplish such a lofty life goal as this? Remember our key scriptures for this morning?

John 8 NKJV
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  • Do you know the truth today? Are you free? You can be this morning!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Against All Odds


Hebrews 6:12  Do not become sluggish, (slothful; half-hearted; lazy; dull or indifferent concerning spiritual things), but endeavor to be like those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Greater blessings come with greater faith and greater patience.

This morning we are going to survey the Word of God and discover how to maximize our winning potential and stand in faith against all odds.

In order to better understand the principles we will discover today we are going to take a broad look at a 25 year span in the life of Abraham. These were critical years in Abraham’s life. Let’s begin by turning to:

Genesis 12
1 ¶  Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
2  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
3  I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
4 ¶  So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Abraham dutifully obeyed the LORD God and journeyed near 300 miles to the Canaanite city of Shechem, (now the Palestinian city of Nablus). Abraham, his wife Sarah, who was 9 years younger than Abraham, and all their servants lived and continued to build altars and worship the LORD while they moved throughout the Land of Canaan. Although God prospered Abraham and Sarah in many ways they were still without the single thing they longed for … Abraham and Sarah wanted a child but Sarah remained barren despite the Word God.

Abraham believed what the Lord had spoken to him but time tested his patience. God reassured Abraham on several occasions – one such occasion is recorded in:

Genesis 15
5 … "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
6  And Abram believed in the LORD, and God accounted it to him for righteousness.

However … after 10 years in the Land of Canaan without seeing the promise come to pass their patience wore thin – and Sarah had an idea as to how she could help God give her what He had promised and what she and her husband could do to get what they both wanted right now:

Genesis 16
2  So Sarah said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarah.
3  Then Sarah, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 16
15  So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16  Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

86 years old … Abraham had been faithfully serving God in the promise land for 11 years – that’s a long time to wait on a promise from God. You know, there are some things you can do and there are some things you can’t do … and … when you are facing something only God can do – you need have patience and wait on God! Abraham had a son, born to him through a bond woman but this was not the son God had promised rather Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Sarah’s compromise.

We should bear no ill feelings or cast some poor image on this young lad, nor upon his mother Hagar, God certainly didn’t and neither did Abraham. No fault to Hagar nor to Ishmael, both God and Abraham loved them and blessed them immensely and no doubt in my mind has blessed them eternally by their faith in God’s promised Messiah ~ however ~ Ishmael was not the covenant son God promised to Abraham through Sarah.

Abraham did not have a faith problem but at one point he did lose his patience and acted contrary to God’s will. This impatient act, although put back into the hands of God and ultimately blessed by Him, caused tremendous problems in Abraham’s life, marriage, family and descendants even up and until today.

What we do while we wait on God can be a factor in how long we wait!

I know 11 years seems like a long time to wait on God to move but 11 years is evidently not long to God. In fact, God waited an additional 13 years longer, and so did Abraham and Sarah, before God’s timing opened Sarah’s womb and she conceived by Abraham and brought forth a son named Isaac. This was the son of God’s promise and only God could do it!

Genesis 17:21 “My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”

Genesis 21:5  Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

100!!! It had been 25 years since God’s first promise … how did Abraham hold on? How was he able to stand and ultimately win even though the odds were all against him? What were Abraham’s keys to success?

Genesis 15:6  And Abram believed in the LORD, and God accounted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 10:10  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Abraham had his heart right because he believed God. But having his heart right was not enough … Abraham believed God for 25 years … however Abraham not only needed to have his heart right but he also needed to have his head right. Abraham needed to captivate and control his mind and begin working with God – seeing what God saw and saying what God said.

Our trust in God moves us into the right place to receive from God however, when we have patiently waited on the Lord until all things are ready and God’s timing has come we must begin saying what God has said … it is then time to make our confession known and time to declare the Word of God over our lives and situations … we must speak our faith.

2 Corinthians 4:13  And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak.

16  Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

At the most critical point, (Genesis 17), God told Abraham that Sarah would conceive and bring forth a son in the next year – that’s when God told Abraham to begin calling himself “the father of many nations” and begin calling his wife “the mother of nations”. (Genesis 17:5 & 16)

Abraham firmly made the decision to trust God, be patient, and declare the Word of the LORD against all odds. I’ll conclude this morning with what the Apostle Paul wrote concerning this particular 25 year span in Abraham’s life.

Romans 4
17 ¶  (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
18  who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
19  And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
20  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21  and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
22  And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
23 ¶  Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
24  but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

So I challenge you:

Hebrews 6:12  Do not become sluggish, (slothful; half-hearted; lazy; dull or indifferent concerning spiritual things), but endeavor to be like those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

1.   Don’t lose heart, become impatient, or stop believing.
2.   Endeavor to be like Abraham, who:
a.   Hoped against all odds that God’s Word would prevail
b.   he Believed God
c.   Made God’s Word his daily confession
3.   Dare to Declare the Word of the Lord over your life!
4.   Give God time and opportunity to do what only He can do …

Even if it takes 25 years to reap your harvest … you still can’t do it without God!

Believe me when I tell you – you and God are both waiting on the same thing!

Sunday Circles - Receiving From God

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: Because He Lives
Memory Verse: 1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Lesson: Receiving From God

                Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of First principle
(Pastor Ron will explain that the foundation for receiving from God is based upon grace. Whatever grace has provided, God’s children can obtain. Grace is God’s part, obtaining and maintaining the promises is man’s part. 2 Corinthians 8:9 & 12:9)

First Principle: Hope Envisions
Scripture Reference: Romans 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
Hope believes in the possibility of a thing. Hope imagines a better day. Hope keeps us smiling and holds us steady like an anchor in a storm.
Question: Have you or has someone you know ever been without hope? Describe the feeling of hopelessness.
Follow Up Question: What are some potential results of a person feeling hopeless?
Conclusion: It is horrible to be without hope. Hope envisions what the grace of God has provided. A man without hope is in this life or the next is miserable. Hope imagines the possibility of a better day someday. Hope is aimed at the future, even though we may not know how or when, yet hope gives us a reason to hold on. However, hope can keep you smiling while your ship goes down. Hope believes IN but how do we believe FOR? Hope believes in the possibility but hope alone does nothing to make it happen.

        Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of the second principle

Second Principle: Faith Lays Claim
Scripture Reference: Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
While hope believes in the blessings, the power, and the promises of God, faith believes for them. Faith says that if grace has provided it, it belongs to me right now. Faith exercises a force that says, “now!”
Question: Explain the basic difference between hope and faith.
Follow Up Question: What are some ways we can increase our faith?
Conclusion: The grace of God provides certain undeniable promises paid for by the blood of Jesus. Whatever grace has provided, hope can imagine as possible. However, when faith comes, we move from hoping so to knowing so. Faith is a dynamic power which acts in the spirit realm to transfer title deed to the believer. Every gift of God is transferred to the believer by grace then by faith. Your faith is the evidence that you possess something that you do not yet see. Faith believes that what God said is true without regard to the face or feel.

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of the third principle
(When do we see the promises?)

Third Principle: Patience Produces
Scripture Reference: James 1:3-4  Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
This type of patience means:
·        to persevere under pressure
·        to remain constant under fire
·        to keep on keeping on
Grace provides; Hope envisions; Faith lays hold; & Patience reels it in.
Question: Patience is a work … what can you do to be more patient?
Follow- up Question: If you lose your patience, where can you go to get more?  
Conclusion: Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

Pastor Ron’s closing remarks
        (Hebrews 6:12)

·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Genuine Faith


This evening we are continuing our study in the Book of 2 Timothy. This letter is best understood when read in light of the circumstances surrounding both the Apostle Paul and his son in the faith, Timothy, during the time these words were penned. The best we can imagine from both world and biblical history is that in or near the year AD67 the Apostle Paul, being about 62 years old himself, was in prison and knew that he was going to be executed any day.

Paul had been ministering the Gospel message to the Gentiles and those living under Roman rule ever since his conversion to Christ on the Damascus Road some 35 years earlier. This was not the first time he had been put in prison for his faith but he knew it would be his last. Sensing his impending martyrdom coupled with his strong desire to leave those who followed him instructions on how to live the victorious life, Paul chooses to write this letter to Timothy who was most likely still in Ephesus at that time.

Overshadowed and inspired by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, Paul writes these words under the anointing and guidance of the mandate and destiny to which he had been called. He could not have known on his own how impacting these words would be for generations and generations of believers for centuries to come.

Today the book of 2 Timothy is catalogued under the Pastoral Epistles of Paul and provides each Believer in Christ with strong instructions concerning how to live and how to die by faith. Without further ado let’s continue our study by reviewing a verse in chapter 1.

2 Timothy 1:5  When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

Paul called Timothy’s faith, “Genuine Faith”! Wow … How can I get some of that Genuine Faith in my life? Well, I’m glad you asked!!!

First let’s discover what Paul was talking about when he used the word, “Faith”. This little word, much poured over and often discussed, holds one of the most simple meanings in the whole bible. The word used by the Apostle Paul written in the Common Greek of the day was:
·        The Greek word: Pistis

Simply translated and best understood this word means: Trust. If more clarification is needed the word faith, mentioned more than 225 in the New Testament comes to mean: “Trust in the Truth”.

Of course, God and His Word represent the ultimate truth so one could rightly argue that faith best means: To put your trust in God.

There are several ways to obtain and to increase this genuine faith in your life. Let’s look at a few which are mentioned in the Bible:

1.   We obtain Genuine Faith through as a Spiritual Inheritance.
a.   2 Timothy 1:5 – Timothy inherited faith from his mother …
2.   We are also given a Measure of Genuine Faith as a gift from God
a.   Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
3.   Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
a.   Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
4.   Faith grows in our life like a fruit.
a.   John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me will bring forth much fruit.”
b.   Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith
5.   Faith is also a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
a.   God reserves the right to simply show up and manifest Himself by faith in the life of a believer even when the believer has not inherited that much faith, read or heard about it, worked to grow it and it exceeds the initial measure they were given by God.

b.   1 Corinthians 12: to another faith by the same Spirit …

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Circles - The Model Father

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: Because He Lives
Memory Verse: 1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Lesson: The Model Father

Not every father is a model father … and not every family is a model family. This morning however, we are going to discover the Characteristics of a Model Father by looking at God. (Father referenced over 1500 times)

                Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of First principle

First Principle: The Characteristics of a Model Father
Scripture Reference: Matthew 6:9-11 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Discussion Points:
A model father is deserving of respect (v.9)
A model father leads the family (v.10)
A model father provides for his family (v.11)

Conclusion: Jesus taught us how he approached His Father and what He expected from His Father. The Ten Commandments show us that our fathers are to occupy an honored position in our lives. Our respect for a father’s position might, at times, say less about our father than it does about how godly we are. Not every father is a model father but we should not use that as an excuse to be less than the model child.

                Pastor Ashley’s remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: The Characteristics of a Model Father
Scripture Reference: Matthew 6:12-13 12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Discussion Points:
A model father is forgiving (v.12)
A model father protects his family (v.13a)
A model father is forever (v.13b)

Conclusion: Jesus came to show us the model Father (John 1:18c) but He also came to show us the model Son. We, at some points in life, will fall into at least one and perhaps both of these roles. Our goal is to give honor to our fathers and if we are fathers to be honorable ourselves.

Pastor Ron’s closing remarks  (Ephesians 5:1)

John 1:18c tells us that Jesus came to declare or show us the Father. Not only did Jesus show us the perfect Father and His role but Jesus also showed us the perfect Son and His role as well. We all have a role model to follow – Father, Parent or Child …

Ephesians 5:1  Therefore be followers of God as dear children.

·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Times of Testing

Looking at the book of Job, we can glean a lot of truth from this story.  In fact, last time I taught on a Sunday we studied Job to learn how to pray for our children by pleading the blood of Christ and putting a hedge of protection around them.  This time I want to take a closer look. We are going to look at what to do when you come under a testing time of your faith.  While none of have experienced the magnitude of testing that Job did, we can still see what it was that he did to endure and overcome the trials of this life. 

There are 3 types of testing from the word of God:

Common Testing
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Season of Testing
Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Hour of Testing
Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

We see that Job is in his hour of testing.  But why is he being tested?  A lot of preachers have said that he loved his “stuff” and was being tested to see if he loved it more than he loved God.  I can see why and how that can apply, but I would like to offer a different reason. 
If we look at the dialog between Satan and God, we can see what the devil is doing.

Job 1:9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!

He wants Job to curse God!  Job’s biggest fear is that he or his family will curse God in their hearts or with their mouths. 

Job 1:5  So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed[a] God in their hearts.”

First, Satan comes in and takes away all of the animals.  We learned last time that this took away Job’s ability to make sacrifice and plead the blood, thereby removing the hedge of protection and allowing the devil to overtake Job’s children in a whirlwind.  The words says, 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Are you beginning to see the pattern here?  It isn’t that Job is concerned with his stuff.  In fact, he doesn’t even waver in the face of the servants who are bringing him this bad news.  He doesn’t know why God is allowing this to happen, but he will not curse God.  Taking Job’s wealth and legacy wasn’t enough for Satan, he wanted to prove that he is right and God is wrong.  So again, he comes before God and says, 4 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!

Satan then strikes him with boils, but he still doesn’t curse God.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened with his wife, but Jewish sources say that Job’s wife was tricked by Satan and went to Job after the humiliation of having her head shaved by Satan in public.  She begged Job to give Satan what he wanted by cursing God so that they could just die. Instead, Job showed her their children in heaven and she gives up her spirit to be with them.  After all of this we see Job begin to crack.  He doesn’t curse God, but after his friends appeared and sat in the dung pile with him he began to curse himself.  This is where we see Job catch himself, stop and admit: Job 3:25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.

It’s here that his friends start in on him.  They bring three accusations against him:
 Hidden sin

Deuteronomy 28 sheds some light on why these friends might have been accusing Job of wrong doing.  It shows the curses that come on someone who does wrong before God.  Three things stand out about the curses and Job’s condition.  God says that if you do not harken to My words, 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away from you and not returned to you. Your flock will be given to your enemies, and no one will help you. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people, while your eyes grow weary looking for them every day… 35 The Lord will afflict you with painful and incurable boils on your knees and thighs—from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.

Job’s friends are simply looking at the law and saying, “Well, from what we see and know about God, He must be the one who is doing this and because of that Job, you are in the wrong somewhere.”  This is how we still look at our brothers and sisters today.  We look at the circumstances and make judgments about them based on what they are going through instead of what they are going to in life.  Fortunately for Job his response is if God gives it He can also take it away.

While his friend is giving him counsel from the position of Job having sinned, he still gives Job some good advice on how to be.  In verse 28 he tells Job to start declaring good over himself, not evil.  Life and death are in the power of the tongue.  We have to realize that we are sons and daughters of the Most High and that we have authority in this world.  Our words carry weight. 

Job 22 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
24 Then you will lay your gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
25 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold[
c] And your precious silver; 26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, And lift up your face to God. 27 You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, And you will pay your vows. 28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.

What are you speaking over your Hour of Testing?

God ends up having to come in and get between Job and his friends.  God has questions for them that they can’t begin to answer, then He changes direction and begins talking about a creator called “leviathan”.  This has caused many people to believe in the existence of everything from dragons to the Loch Ness monster. 

While I could spend a day excitedly talking about those topics, I will instead put forth a plausible argument for what and why God spends a whole chapter on this creator before instructing Job on what to do to reinstate the blessings of God for his life.

We read in Isaiah and Revelation that this leviathan is a 7-headed serpent which is the devil.  In Job, I think God is telling Job, who doesn’t know what is going on, that Satan is the one who has taken from him.  In fact, in verse 34, God says about the creator, Job 41:34 He sees everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.

Who is the king over all the sons of pride?  His name is Satan.

Why would God want to show Job who was behind this theft?  I’m glad you asked because in the law there is a tenet that says,
Exodus 22:7 If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double.

God is showing Job the thief!  He is so amazing at bringing everything back and turning that which is bad into good. 
So what do we need to take from this story?

We can learn from this account that we
·         Never Curse God
·         Stop Cursing Yourself
·         Let God Defend you
·         Pray for those who wrong you

This will reverse the curse and ignite the blessings of God in double portion.  Solomon says, better is the end of a thing than the beginning.  In the last chapter of Job we see he has double what he had lost.  God’s law is still in effect today.  If the enemy comes and robs you of something God has given you, make a claim to God and He will make the enemy return that which he stole in double portion.  Let’s pray together for revelation and breakthrough.  I know there are people here who are in need of this word.  Believe that God is going to come in like a whirlwind and show us how to get out of our sorrow, out of hell and grief!  Let’s pray and believe together.

There’s a Goliath in Your Future

There is a special grace here tonight.  I’m ready to share with you what God is saying.  Two Wednesdays ago, I preached out of Ruth.  We learned about redemption and how to be redeemed.  We can’t let another person’s bitterness rob us of the kingdom of heaven that God has for us both here and to come.  Redemption requires us to ask.  We also realized that there is greatness in all of us.  For Ruth, it would be a grandson named David, for Orpah it was in a grandson named Goliath.  This is where we will pick up tonight as I tell you what God is saying in the title of this message…

There’s a Goliath in Your Future
What are you going to do about it?

For some of you, there is a Goliath in your present.  At first glance, you’re probably saying, “That’s not a good thing.” But to God and others around you in this life, it can be a great thing. If you follow tonight’s message and apply this truth, you will defeat your “Goliath”.
If you have your bibles, turn to 1 Samuel 17.  We will begin in verse 32, Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

This is where we see a glimpse into David’s heart.  In the previous chapter this young man is anointed to be king.  His anointing and calling are as such that even at this age his first concern is for the people he would one day rule.  God describes David later on as “a man after my own heart”.  This is shown to be true in his first statement to King Saul, and is our first point tonight.

Don’t Lose Heart.

When I was a boy my dad would always tell about the wisdom that comes with being a man.  He would often tell me that when there’s an emergency it’s not the time to freak out.  If I want to freak out, wait until things are ok and safe. 
When life is bad and doesn’t look like anything can fix it, it is not the time to lose heart.  We don’t have to be afraid of our giants.  They may be big, ugly, and mean, but they won’t be as big if you don’t let them grow in your mind.  They are big enough without making them bigger.  When your relationship is bad, that’s not the time to point out every hopeless detail of a seemingly doomed circumstance.

Let’s keep reading to see what happens next.
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

Oh my, it’s just like other people to come in and size us up to the problem we are facing.  I can just hear it now… “Well you know your dad was an alcoholic and so was his dad.  You’re just doing what you know”.  What a deceitful statement that many of us have heard or even worse, God forbid, have uttered to someone before.  The truth is that when we are born again, we are set free from the wages of sin and it has no hold over us anymore.  It goes from we struggle with sin to sin struggles for us.  It’s this type of thinking that leads many of us to stay behind the lines afraid to face our Goliaths. 

We should rise to the level of God’s declaration about us instead of others’ expectations. 

You see, what made David special is that he didn’t need his king to tell him who he was, because  the King of Kings and Lord of Lords already showed him who he would be.  I’m here to tell you that God has declared the end from the beginning.  You are the head and not the tail, you are above and not beneath.  Greater is He that is in you, then he that is in the world.  You are more than an over-comer.  You are a son and daughter of the new covenant, and heir of the eternal.  This is what David saw in himself.  He saw what God saw in him.  David didn’t need the encouragement of others; he drew his encouragement from the word.  David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:11.  Later on, when his men wanted to kill David, the word says, that David encouraged himself.  Don’t you get it?  The word was in him so that when nothing else encouraged him, the word of God inside of him did. 

Have you put the word in your heart or the voice of Saul in your head?

The distrust of the king didn’t dissuade David from pursuing his God-given role. 
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

It’s interesting what the word of God can reveal to us if we will read in context, with an open heart to the Holy Spirit, and having taken the time to understand the culture of the people groups who wrote the Bible. 

In verse forty, it says, “Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook”. You might be saying to yourself, “so?”  To most everyone, this little excerpt has little meaning, but if we take the time to understand what the Sheppard’s staff was for back then, we might be able to get a better picture of the previous verses we just read. 

A staff had multiple purposes for a young Sheppard.  It was used to guide the sheep, divide them, help the Sheppard traverse rugged terrain, etc.  We could spend a whole series unpacking all the meanings behind just those few uses, but the staff was also used by the person to remember or better yet prove to others about things that the Sheppard would face and overcome in the wild.  At night the Sheppard would carve on their staff the different stories of their times of bravery and courage in defending their flocks.  Oh, this is going to be good when you get it.  Let’s reread David’s response to Saul’s argument against David’s qualifications to defend Israel in a more dramatically accurate context.

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 

Wow!  The scriptures really do come alive when we read them with understanding.  The New Testament reveals the same concept with the Armor of God.  What about the here and now?  What do we have to rise up and show that we can handle the Goliath in front of us?

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

Your testimony is your staff to show this world that you have and will defeat the attacks of the enemy.  David says that he overcame a lion and a bear; we too have our lions and bears to overcome.  We have the:
Lion of Pride

The word says that Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking who he can devour.  His first sin was pride.  It is the mother of all sin and it dwells in the hearts and minds of everyone.  Pride must be overthrown in our lives if we are going to live in the Kingdom of God during this life.  God resists the proud.  We have to realize that pride is a door that swings both ways.

Pride says:
·         I alone can
·         I can not
Bear of Lusts

It was John who said: For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

Lusts Says:
·         I Desire it More Than My Relationship with God

Lusts are deceptive in nature.  We see that just like the bears at the national parks today robbing campers of there provisions, the bears of lust will come and rob you of joy, peace, contentment, and relationships with both God and man…  Eve saw the fruit and thought it was good to eat.  It cost them everything!  We shouldn’t look with our eyes but with our spirit.  Not every open door is meant to be walked through in life. 

David met his match looking down on Bathsheba.  2 Samuel 11:1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.
He lost that battle and it cost him dearly.  The bear of lust will cost you everything.  He was alone- a place where no one should find themselves.  The word says, Proverbs18:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
For the sake of time let’s move on and look at 1 Samuel 17 one more time to see how he handled this giant in his life.
1 Samuel 17:46 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This is the most powerful thing you can say and do when you face your Goliath!  This shows us David knew that even though he had defeated the lion and the bear, it was not by his natural abilities or strength.  It was humility that would bring down this giant.  This enemy is never meant to be faced alone.  David knew this, but the others had let Goliath set the terms.  Let’s read it together.
1 Samuel 17:8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”
The giants of this world will try to get you alone.  They realize that without you getting help, they will be able to overtake you.  David tricked his cousin Goliath into thinking that David was alone, but David was never alone.  The word says in Romans that those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  We don’t have to be alone.  We have the weapon of weapons and He is the King of kings.  His name is Jesus!

On a side note, this was not the only giant that David faced.  If we look in 2 Samuel 21:15  When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him.

David was in his prime, but grew tired.  We all are going to get tired and if we are not careful the giants we face will find us alone and try to overtake us.  David had a safe-guard in place, he had trusted friends that stayed close enough to him to know when he got tired and see when he was about to get into trouble and would come to his aid.
There is a Goliath in your future; what you do about it will determine the outcome of your future, your family, and your finances.  The secret to overtaking these giants is to:
·         Don’t Isolate Yourself
·         Have Accountability
·         Be Humble

David understood the key to winning was in humility which made him a man after God’s own heart.  His mind was a different story.  Paul says we have to renew our minds to line up with Christ.  That’s the battle all of us must face, but we don’t have to face it alone.  We have Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Godly friends to fight for us against the strongholds we face in our mind.  In closing, we need to:

Have the Heart of David, but the Mind of Christ