"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
What Must We Do To Have Victory In The Midst of Adversity?
We Must Realize That
according to [his] purpose."
I Peter 2:9, "But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
(( To be called of God has it's Disadvantagesas well as it's Rewards. ))
I. Disadvantages of Being "Chosen":
A. Grief And Pain:
1. Mary saw her Son rejected, hunted and killed.
2. Grief must sometimes be accepted as Part of A Larger Plan And Purpose.
3. God's callings sometimes include Special Pressures upon this flesh.
4. Paul --- Acts 9:16, "... I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."
B. Outcast And Loneliness:
1. God forces us into a very Unique Relationship With Him by separating us unto Himself.
2. God's calling us sometimes places us in the position of being Different In Our Ways And Thoughts.
3. Others view us as Not Fitting Into Their Life Style.
C. Loss And Death of Dreams And Plans.
1. Many things that we hold onto must be taken away so that we can get our Full Focus on God And His Purpose.
2. In order to accept God's plan for our life there must be a Yielding of Our Own Plans And Dreams.
3. God will many times revive them in a different form than before.
II. Rewards of Being "Called" And "Chosen":
II Corinthians 4:15-18, "For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal."
1. All things are for your sakes --- (V. 15).
2. Abundant grace through thanksgiving --- (V. 15).
3. Brings glory to God --- (V. 15).
4. Renews our inward man, crucifies the flesh. --- (V. 16).
5. Builds faith and new dreams --- (V. 18).
"... worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; ..."
6. Establishes eternal treasures --- (V. 18).
"... for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
III. Notice --- The Call of God's People --- Example: Israel:
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine." --- V. 21, "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise."
Luke 19:41-44, "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."
A. To Be My People --- Separate yourselves from the world's principles, plans, desires and enjoyments.
B. I'll Be Your King --- The king deserves all loyalty, devotion and authority.
C. I Will Give Abundance And Blessing --- God is looking for people whom He can bless and show His grace and abundance.
D. You Show Forth My Praise --- We must show His glory and praise to others.
IV. Dangers of Forsaking God's Call:
A. Causes God To Grieve:
He desires to show His love to us more than we desire to receive it.
B. Loss of Divine Opportunity:
We may never know the tremendous opportunities that God had planned for us.
C. Bondage To The Enemy:
1. When we are not serving God and in obedience to Him, we are ultimately serving Satan.
2. You are in bondage to whom you serve.
Romans 6:16, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
D. Not Able To Stand Before God:
1. We are in rebellion when we are not in obedience.
2. No one can stand before God in rebellion.
E. Children Will Lose Blessings:
1. We can leave our children an inheritance of the WORLD or an inheritance of GOD.
2. A Worldly inheritance Corrupts and Decays.
3. A Godly inheritance Multiplies, gives Life, Blessings and Joy.
F. Destruction of Lives:
When we cast aside Eternal Values and Purpose, we are Left With Only The Perishable.
G. Unawareness of God's Presence And Power:
We Cannot Have
V. Requirements For Fulfillment of The Calling of God --- Example: - Solomon
I Chronicles 28:9-10, "And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do [it]." --- V. 20, "And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD."
A. Know Him --- Study Scripture and get to know God's ways.
B. Serve Him With A Perfect Heart --- Seek purity in life and service.
C. Have A Willing Mind --- A mind inclined to God --- one that takes Delight In Pleasing Him.
D. Seek Him --- Set your eyes, ears, hopes, and desires on the Lord.
E. Take heed --- Be cautious and attentive to the voice of God.
F. Be Strong --- Cast your cares on Him --- draw from His strength.
G. Do It --- Don't be Sidetracked by less important attractions.
VI. Qualities That God Develops In Those He Calls:
A. Strength --- He is strong in our weakness.
B. Courage --- Courage is developed as God severs ties with worldly things.
C. Fearlessness --- Most fear is from the unknown --- we should develop Trust In God's Plan.
D. Not Dismayed --- Learns to cope with many unknown and unforeseen factors.
VII. God's Promises To The Called:
A. His Abiding Presence --- He goes before --- walks beside --- watches over us ...
B. His Faithfulness --- He will never leave us.
C. His Constant Love --- He will never forsake us.
VIII. Hindrances To Receiving God's Blessings:
A. Whenever God calls us for special blessings, we can expect certain hindrances to arise.
1. Many times the hindrances are there because of our own unpreparedness to receive the blessings of the Lord.
2. Among the hindrances to receiving God's blessings are:
B. Refusing To Accept the adversity as God's plan.
C. Letting Uncontrollable Grief drown out God's joy.
D. Looking At The Past instead of the future.
E. Looking at the future in terms of my age and/or abilities --- thus, Limiting God.
F. Harboring Bitterness against God --- Others responsible ...
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
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