The Biggest “IF” in the Bible
Sermon shared by Ronald Fair
Summary: Revival will come when people humble themselves and pray. Forgiveness comes when people humble themselves and pray. Healing comes when people humble themselves and pray.
Audience: General adults
A man was sent to a foreign land to represent the U.S. but he returned before his term was up. He said, “The responsibility was too great. Every time I drank a glass of water the natives watched to see how Uncle Sam drank. Every time I ate, they watched to see how Uncle Sam ate. Every time I walked down the street they watched to see how Uncle Sam walked. The responsibility was too great, so I came home.”
God’s representatives are a chosen people, called to be a holy people, but Christ will not be glorified unless his people glorify Him by a life lived for Him.
D. Israel forgot God and became proud and unGodlike, and forgot whose they were. So God said.
III. If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves....
A. Humility in those strenuous times seems to be a grace gone out of style. Yet humility is the gateway to God. Micah 6:6-7, “Where withal shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God. Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?”
B. The first blessed in the sermon on the mount is for the humble. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Had Salome and her sons remembered this beatitude, they would never have asked Christ to make them sit one on His right and one on His left in His kingdom. Had the disciples remembered this beatitude, they would not have been so agitated by Salome’s request. Earthly thrones are built with steps leading up to them but up is down, with God, we must stoop if we would rise. We must gird ourselves to wash the feet of the disciples as a common slave, if we would share the royalty of our Lord.
A man was addressing a room full of school children, “All of you know the verb which says, “I am, you are, he is.” Verbs in English, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish all run in the same way. Bad way for verbs to run. The old Hebrew people arranged their verbs the other way around. He is, thou art, I am! That is God’s way. Say to yourself looking up at God, “He is.” Then look at your neighbor and say “You are.” last of all think of yourself and say, “I am.”
C. But this text refers to a humbling before God. A humbling which comes when we look within, when we place our lives alongside of Christ’s life, when like John the Baptist we say, “I am not worthy to unlace His shoes.” This is a humility like the prodigal son demonstrated when he came home to the Father’s house in rags and poverty and said, “ I have sinned against heaven an earth and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” This is the publican’s humility when he felt unworthy to approached the throne, but barely within the temple
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