Jericho is a small rural town in Kansas. This sleepy little town awoke on day to learn that the world as they had known it had changed forever. Somewhere in the distance, possibly as far a Denver, an atomic bomb had been detonated. What was worse, with all communication and electricity down, the residence of Jericho were cut off from the rest of the world around them. Would they come together as the small town community they always were, or would they turn to the devouring one another through greed and self-preservation?
It’s truly a plot right out of a Hollywood set, but I have to ask you –
What would you do if you woke up and realized your world had drastically changed? Perhaps some of you could tell us what you DID when you woke up…..
It doesn’t take an atomic bomb to drastically change our world. No, bomb shells come in all shapes and sizes and wrapped in all kinds of packaging. They can be negative experiences as well as positive ones.
Yes, even good situations can cause dramatic change in our lives.
• Woke up the morning after your wedding….
• Woke up at the first whimper of the new baby in the house…
• Woke up the first morning of that new job or promotion…
• Woke up the morning your last child left home….
• Woke up the first morning one of them was BACK….
But you can always know it could be a bad day when ….
• Your horn sticks on the freeway behind 32 Hell’s Angel’s.
• Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
• The bird singing outside your window is a vulture.
• The gypsy fortune teller offers to refund your money.
• People tell you that you look great for 60...and you’re only fifty-two.
Isn’t it odd that people seem to tell you that “change is good for you” right after you tell them how your world just turned upside down?
I want you to consider a few biblical truths with me that will get you through those drastic changes – when you find yourself in a Jericho.
1. Don’t abandon the townsfolk. (Mid-west talk for “community”)
a. Many have been where you are and know where you’re headed.
1 Corinthians 10:13a
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful….
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
b. Remember, there is only one hero in this story (vs.3)
i. “Pastor you’re the only one who can help me”
ii. Personally, that scares EVEN me!
1. It’s a deceitful set up for both of us
a. You = Disappointment
b. Me = Pride.
iii. That’s why in Pastoral Counseling I’m always going to point you into three directions…
1. Prayer 2. Word 3. The Cross
Which leads me to my second point…
2. Don’t full for the lie about being disconnected.
a. The lie:
i. No Communication
ii. No Fuel
iii. No Power
b. In the first season there was a new comer to town – everyone thought they were cut off but here he was in his basement sending and receiving emails. What did he know that the others didn’t?
i. He didn’t rely on the negative reports or experiences of others.
ii. He knew something others didn’t know or couldn’t accept.
iii. Others became suspicious of him
iv. He knew how to stay connected.
1. Communication – Prayer
2. Fuel – the Word
3. Power – the Spirit
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.
1 A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills-- From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
3. Keep Your Feelings in Check
c. When dramatic change comes to our life it’s easy to slip into some unhealthy and (frankly) unscriptural feelings.
1. In seven passages God promises “I will never leave you or forsake you”
2. David said “I was glad when they said to me ‘let us go to the house of the Lord’”
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (Power, Authority) to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
1 A Psalm of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident. 4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. 5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
1 A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son. Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. 2 Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God." Selah 3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
The more drastic the change the clearer you see God’s consistency.
A note from Pastor Terry,
Thanks so much for looking over this message. I trust that, in some way, you were blessed, encouraged and empowered on your own walk with Christ. Every message I prepare is bathed in prayer that God will draw, inspire, and challenge my listeners (or readers) into a more meaningful and power-filled walk with Him.
Pastors, how we need one another! We need to be encouraged, strengthened and built up in order to encourage, strengthen and build up. It’s my personal prayer that the message you’ve just reviewed has done that for you in a personal way. Use what you can of this message, toss what you can’t and above all, let God’s Spirit inspire it all!
Sometimes I feel like Peter and John at the Temple steps…”Silver and gold; I don’t have but what I do – I give to you”
Grace and peace to you, your family and the Flock you tend.