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1/23/2000 1 Kings 12:25-33 1 Corin. 9:24-27
How many of us have started on a project with great expectations of what we were going to do, only to have that project sit around and eventually left half done. When we first got into it, it seemed exciting, but the longer it took the more work it became or the more time it ate up, or something else caught our interest. We do not measure things very often by how well it started, but rather how did it finish. If you ask someone, "did you win the game?" If they begin to tell you, "man we had a great first quarter, " then you know how the game ended without them saying another word. They lost.
We do not give Aís in school to people who started the project, but rather to those who finished well. We do not give degrees to people who enrolled in college, but to those who completed all necessary requirements. We do not give championship trophies to teams that played in the division, but only to those who ended up with a good season. If we want the reward, a great start is not enough, we have to finish the job, and finish well.
I want you to meet a young man by the name of Jeroboam. Jeroboam grew up in a single parent family because his father had died so his mother was a widow. But Jeroboam had a way about him, that when he started something, he finished it and got the job done. He worked so well, he got the kingís attention. King Solomon realized he needed him in his administration. So he put Jeroboam in charge of the whole labor force.
Now King Solomon was a king who had a great start in his life in his walk with the Lord, but as time went on, he went downhill in a hurry. Things got so bad that God decided to tear the kingdom from him and give it to one of his servants. One day Jeroboam was leaving the city of Jerusalem and went out into the country. He ran into a prophet by the name of Ahijah. Ahijah was wearing a new coat. He told Jeroboam, "just wait a minute or two while I tear up this coat."
Ahijah ripped the coat into 12 pieces. He gave Jeroboam 10 and he kept two. I can imagine Jeroboam saying, "man, why are you giving me these ripped up rags." Ahijah said to him, " The God of Israel says for you to take 10 pieces for yourself, because he is going to tear the kingdom out of Solomonís hands and make you the leader of 10 tribes. For Davidís sake, Solomonís son will have two tribes to rule over. Solomon has gone after other gods and has not kept my commandments. But, Jerobaom if you do what I command, and walk in my ways doing what is right in my eyes, by keeping my laws, I will build you a kingdom that will last as long as Davidís kingdom.
God saw a potential for greatness in Jeroboam. The key in it all, would be Jeroboamís willingness to obey God, no matter what. Well once word got out that God had promised to give Jeroboam part of the kingdom, King Solomon went looking for Jeroboam in order to kill him. Thanks to God, Jeroboam had gone from top official in the administration, to the number one fugitive. His picture was on the 10 most wanted list at the post offices. Remember this, when you get a word from the Lord, it does not mean everything is going to start sailing ahead in your life. When God comes into your life, its bound to do some upsetting of things around you. Jeroboam
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