Sun Am Worship
Text: Gen 13:1-13 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
WHAT has God done for you this week to be Thankful
TWO MEN WERE WALKING THROUGH A FIELD ONE DAY WHEN THEY SPOTTED AN ENRAGED BULL. INSTANTLY THEY DARTED TOWARD THE NEAREST FENCE. THE STORMING BULL FOLLOWED IN HOT PURSUIT, AND IT WAS SOON APPARENT THEY WOULDN'T MAKE IT. TERRIFIED, THE ONE SHOUTED TO THE OTHER, "PUT UP A PRAYER, JOHN. WE'RE IN FOR IT!" JOHN ANSWERED, "I CAN'T. I'VE NEVER MADE A PUBLIC PRAYER IN MY LIFE." "BUT YOU MUST!" IMPLORED HIS COMPANION. "THE BULL IS CATCHING UP TO US." "ALL RIGHT," PANTED JOHN, "I'LL SAY THE ONLY PRAYER I KNOW, THE ONE MY FATHER USED TO REPEAT AT THE TABLE: 'O LORD, FOR WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO RECEIVE, MAKE US TRULY THANKFUL.'"
Genesis 13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
Genesis 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Genesis 13:4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Genesis 13:5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
Genesis 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
Genesis 13:7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
Genesis 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Genesis 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Genesis 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Genesis 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Genesis 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
Genesis 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
It seems we are a people that has become bent by the mentality of MORE is BETTER!
1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
"THE HARDEST ARITHMETIC TO MASTER IS THAT WHICH ENABLES US TO COUNT OUR BLESSINGS."
THERE WAS ONCE A LEGEND ABOUT A MAN WHO FOUND THE BARN WHERE SATAN KEPT HIS SEEDS TO BE SOWN IN THE HUMAN HEART. ON FINDING THE SEEDS OF DISCOURAGEMENT MORE NUMEROUS THAN THE OTHERS, HE LEARNED THAT THOSE SEEDS COULD GROW ALMOST ANYWHERE. WHEN SATAN WAS QUESTIONED, HE RELUCTANTLY ADMITTED THAT THERE WAS ONE PLACE HE COULD NEVER GET THEM TO THRIVE.
"AND WHERE WAS THAT?" ASKED THE MAN. SATAN SADLY REPLIED, "IN THE HEART OF A GRATEFUL PERSON."
One of my favorite songs is an old hymn of the church
called ( Leaning on the everlasting
arms) The whole song is about the blessing and the strength and the peace
and joy that fills our lives as we lean on Jesus.
Another one that is very similar is the chorus: Learning to lean, I'm learning to lean I'm learning to lean on Jesus, finding more power than I ever dreamed I'm learning to lean on Jesus.
I always loved these songs: then I got a little older and I found out that they were based on the word of God
Song of Sol 8:5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved.
(Of course it's talking about the church leaning on Jesus).
Then I read Jn 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved (that disciple was John the beloved) The very one that Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to as he died on the cross.
Then Heb 11:21 Says: By faith Jacob when he was a dying blessed both the sons of Joseph, and worshipped (leaning) on the top of his staff.
I loved that verse because it puts Jacobs life into perspective Early in life Jacob had been a liar, a cheat a usurper, a supplanter he would do anything to get what he wanted. (he was a self made man) He would lie cheat and steal, and he did.
Don't look at me all Holy the Bible declares in 1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
He cheated his brother out the birthright of the first born son, and then he deceived his father and got the blessing of the firstborn son through deception.
But one night he had an encounter with the angel of the lord, and he wrestled with him all night long till the break of day and the angel said let me go ( but Jacob said: I will not let you go until you bless me,
Somewhere during that wrestling match Jacob came face to face with the wicked and corrupt man he had become and he realized that he couldn't fix himself.
When Jacob said: I won't let you go till you bless me, the angel of the lord put forth his hand and touched the hollow of Jacobs thigh and threw it out of joint, and the sinew or muscle of his thigh shrank)
From that day on, Jacob (leaned) to the side the Lord had touched
What we as a nation, as a people, as a home, as Christians United need is an old fashioned wrestling match with a Holy God at the Alter! A Place where we can no longer sit back and watch our nation continue on a downward slope.
That day he received a new name, He was no longer called Jacob the liar, heel grabber and supplanter and deceiver.
But his name was called Israel (Prince who hath power with God)
Israel's power was not in his standing, and it was not even in his wrestling even though he wrestled all night long) His blessing and his power and his strength and his transformation came through his leaning.
When he learned to lean he found the power of God.
Tell your neighbor lean into the power
I know it doesn't make sense sometimes but the strength and the power of the child of God is found in his weakness.
2 Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches in necessities in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: (For when I am weak then am I strong) Can I say right here that we have some might men and women of God right here in our Midst.. They are no longer battling for their souls they are fighting for their very lives. Mr Roger Poteet, Mr. Don Henley Mr. Gerald Vaughn,
Paul Said in 2 Co 12:9 He said unto me, my grace is
sufficient for thee for (my strength is made perfect in weakness)
The greatest battle we will ever fight as believers is not with the devil, it's not even with sin ( it's with self)
Our fight is with the spirit of self pride that makes us feel strong and independent
Pride is a killer, Pride will tell you, (You can do it on your own, you don't need to wait on God, you don't need to pray, you don't need anyone's help,
have to read the bible you already know what it says) You are so talented you
don't need anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Pride will tell you (you can stand on your own, your smart enough to make the right choices ) you don't need no preacher telling you how to live.
1 Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
The strongest, the most anointed and effective believer is the one who has learned the secret and the necessity and the joy of (leaning on Jesus).
But my message today deals with a lean in the wrong direction
As believers this morning we are all leaning ( the only question is, which way are you leaning?)
Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and (lean) not unto thine own
You are leaning the wrong direction when you convince yourself that you know whats best for you, When you believe that you are strong enough to stay sanctified even though you don't pray or read the word of God.
You are leaning in the wrong direction When you believe that you can make it without the fellowship of the saints.
When you start letting little things, " the little foxes slip in that are offensive to the spirit of Christ."
Anytime a nation goes down and experiences the judgment of God it happens in this order: 1st Moral decay in the home, 2nd then in the church, and finally in the government.
"As the home goes, so goes the church, and as the church goes, so goes the nation."
This is where America is today. It's not that we don't
have enough religion, we are up to our ears in religion. But we have left the
absolute Bible authority and truth, standards, and morality. This lack of Bible
conviction infiltrates even many families in good Bible churches.
Parents are losing their kids because we are not the examples we need to be.
We want them to obey but they see us going our own way
personally. Our inconsistencies will be magnified in our kids,. what we
allow in moderation our kids abuse in excess!
ill.--in a small Missouri town, 2 preacher's boys were playing with a little dog they found, it was black w/ a white tail, they wanted to keep him. They loved him. Then they heard about a new family who moved in and how they had lost their dog, which was black w/ a white tail. Their preacher dad didn't want to have to give up the dog so he painted the white tail black, and when the new neighbors asked about whether this could be their dog he lied and said, no, the tail is the wrong color. What could they say? Do you know the son's names? Frank and Jesse James, 2 of the most notorious criminals of all time.
As parents we don't get what we want, we get what we are.
And I share this because getting this nation and people to lean in the right direction has much more to do with my house and your house than the White House!
You see in our story Lot had grown in number and strength until now he was a rival a competition to Abram.
In otherwords the flesh had become almost as strong as the spirit man (The flesh is the self life)
This is where people start leaning in the wrong direction ( they begin to allow self to be in charge.
Not sin (just self)
Self = My way, my plans, my feelings, what I want, what feels good to me, what makes sense to me,.
I don't see anything wrong with it, it looks alright to me (it's just country music it's not that evil rock and roll stuff.
Its just rated r movies and I don't even go to the show I just watch em at home, ( besides that preacher it's not pornography or anything like that)
And very soon to follow it's I just don't feel like going to church today ( I'm alright I'm not backslid or anything like that I just want to hang out at the house and chill.
Give me a break preacher: I'm not going to the bar, I'm not going to the crackhouse, I'm not looking for a prostitute, ) I just want to hang out at the house watch the tube and relax.
I wonder if that wasn't exactly the same attitude that got David in such a mess:
2 Sam 11:1-5
1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah.(But David tarried still at Jerusalem.)
That's where it all started: David was at the wrong place at the wrong time, It was the time of year for Kings to go forth and fight their battles, but David stayed home, ( he leaned the wrong direction)
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house:
and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and
the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
David finds out Bethsheba is pregnant he tries to hide his sin ( and he becomes a murderer) He arranges to have her husband killed in battle.
2 Sam 11:14-15
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
And it all started with a little lean in the wrong direction
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom
Sodom was known to be a wicked and sinful city, but Lot (leaned) toward Sodom
That's what it means ( he pitched his tent leaning toward Sodom, facing Sodom, favoring Sodom, thinking about Sodom, Imagining the things that were going on in Sodom.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
He himself was Not in Sodom, he was not a partaker of Sodoms sins (but close enough) to hear the sounds of Sodom, close enough to look over and see the business of Sodom (close enough that eventually the dirty jokes didn't offend him anymore, close enough that their immorality and vulgarity didn't offend him anymore.
Tell your neighbor (close enough is too close)
Eventually, Lot has moved his family into town
They are now living in the midst of a city that is given to perversion and unbridled lust and sensuality.
Now they are no longer on the outskirts of town, they are not just passerby's or occasional visitors, they are no longer on the outside looking in, (Now they are residents, citizens of Sodom)
Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind….
This means don't allow the outside pressure to shape your life, don't make adjustments to accommodate the mindsets attitudes and appetites of this world.
The bible says: Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them.
James 4:4 The friendship of the world is enmity with God, whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
There is continual pressure on the child of God to relax, tone down, become tolerant and flexible toward the spirit of worldliness, ungodliness, and perversion in our nation and this world.
Our churches are getting so caught up in contemporary worship styles and fads and self help topics we have left off prophetic preaching of the fiery truths of God's Word! I think sincere America is fed up with coffee shop based churches w/ their interpretive dance, drama skits, and pop psychology from the pulpit.
My job is not to fill this auditorium...it is to fill this pulpit
The standard of morality in this nation has fallen so
low that there is no moral compass
to point us to true north.
The line between right and wrong has been erased and from a world view it is nearly impossible to discern the difference between good and evil.
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness: That put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Lets not be spiritual ostriches that bury our heads in the sand and pretend that because we ignore it it does not exist.
Our nation is leaning away from God, This society is leaning away from God, but what concerns me most is that the church is leaning toward Sodom, toward tolerance of sin and compromise to avoid conflict.
Listen Paul said in Galatians4:16
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Americans are flocking to hear the songs of fools that are hirelings, not committed to the Word of God!
To avoid conflict, to gain acceptance, to fit in, many of our pulpits have sold out, even many of our mainline denominational churches that once held the bible as the only standard for a life acceptable to God have been infected by the spirit of compromise, and no longer do they sound a clear warning against sin.
Their message has become diluted, and polluted, their pulpits are for sell to the highest bidder. Mine is Not for Sale!
1 Cor 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
To every man or woman that ever stands behind the sacred desk ( you are held accountable by God to speak the truth, and to speak it with clarity and simplicity) To every preacher that dilutes the message, and hides the truth in obscurity and confusion, you will be held accountable by God for every soul that is lost because you failed to preach the full counsel of God without fear or favor.
when we take God and Biblical morality out of our
nation, it begins to unravel.
We have lost our foundation. Every man does what is right in his own eyes. Politicians don't mind talking about values until you ask them 'whose values' are these values?
Why do you think the homosexuals say they have the right to get married? Because every man is doing what is right in his own eyes.
Judges keep striking down laws of common sense in favor of political correctness which protects pedophiles and pornographers and criminals of all ranks. We have lost our moral compass!
Now Lot and his family are settled in Sodom
They are surrounded by sin, and what at one time was repulsive and unthinkable is now the atmosphere they breathe every day.
You can read one of the greatest passages in the bible as a mere man named Abraham intercedes for the souls of men, as he pleads for the mercy of God he brings God to an agreement ( If I find ten righteous ones I will spare the city for their sakes).
Through Abrahams intercession, Three angels are sent to Sodom to bring Lot and his family out. Lot has two daughters and two sons in laws.
Lot warns his sons in law
Gen 19:14 Up get you out of this place for the Lord will destroy this city (but he seemed to them as one that mocked unto his sons in laws).
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they (brought him forth, and set him without the city.)
In other words (Lord being merciful unto Lot, the angels took hold of their hands and (pulled) them out of the city.)
I like what I'm beginning to see, in Christian America. I see a mass of believers getting involved in politics, running for office, protesting, and taking their stand.
the liberal left that says because we believe in God we should just shut up.
It's because we believe in God that we ought to
There are sparks, and we need to fan the flames. Our homes and our churches can affect our government.
I know should get on with my message, but I just can't go on without taking a minute to thank God for pulling me out, I was stuck in sin and he pulled me out.
· Is there anybody here right now who knows if God hadn't pulled you out, you'd be dead?
Somebody I'm talking to right now (God pulled you out of drug addiction, God pulled you out of alcoholism, God pulled you out of a bad relationship, God pulled you out of homosexuality, God pulled you out of prostitution, God pulled you out of dead religion.
Somebody ought to get on your feet right now and thank God that he pulled you out, your flesh didn't want to quit, but he pulled you out (he could have just said come out and just kept on walking but he knew my flesh was fighting to stay in Sodom so he PULLED me out.
I was sinking in Quicksand, the harder I fought to get out, the deeper I went and the worse it got, then God in love and mercy reached down his hand and pulled me out.
Touch three people and tell them (He pulled me out, I was stuck pretty good but he pulled me out, I even fought him and resisted him but he pulled me out.
Then look at:
Gen 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
19:24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from heaven But his wife looked back from behind him and she became a pillar of salt.
This chapter closes with Lots two daughters getting their father drunk and becoming pregnant by him, and out of these incestuous relationships came two of Israel's greatest enemies (the Ammonites and the Moabites).
Lot lost everything: He lost every temporal blessing that he had in Sodom, he lost his two sons in law, he lost his wife, and finally he lost his two daughters to the spirit of lust and corruption and perversion of Sodom.
And it all started with a lean in the wrong direction.
I'm closing but I have to make this point, it is perhaps the saddest part of the whole story.
Through Abrahams bold intercession the mercy of God had determined that judgement of Sodom could be avoided if he only Ten righteous were found there.
Supposing that Lot had the power of a Godly life that had influenced his family toward God, they only needed four more people to overturn the verdict of destruction.
But the sad truth is: Not only were there not four others to be found, Lots life was so unstable, and so empty of conviction that his sons in laws thought he was making a joke about the coming judgment.
His wife loved Sodom so much that her heart never left, and when her eyes turned to where she had invested her heart, She became a pillar of salt and died.
And it all started with ( a lean in the wrong direction)
As I close this message, child of God I only have one question (which way are you leaning?)
I know by the Spirit of God, someone hearing this message right now, Your life has begun to lean in the wrong direction.
It may not be any big thing right now, you might even say, I haven't sinned.
But your leaning the wrong way:
Song of Solomon 2:15 It's the little foxes that spoil the vines.
Don't follow Lots example, don't let the little things add up until it's beyond repair.
Repent, and start right now (leaning on Jesus)