Becoming A Leper Or A King (Developing A Right Attitude This Christmas)
Contributed by Dana Visneskie on Dec 5, 2004 (message contributor)
Summary: Choosing the right attitude in Life during the Christmas season. I show how 4 lepers allowed God to develop the right attitude in there lives by the decisions they made, and how the King made the wrong choice and followed his own insticts.
Title: Becoming A Leper Or A King
Text: II Kings 6:24-7:20
Joe Theismann enjoyed an illustrious 12-year career as quarterback of the Washington Redskins. He led the team to two Super Bowl appearances--winning in 1983 before losing the following year. When a leg injury forced him out of football in 1985, he was entrenched in the record books as Washington’s all-time leading passer. Still, the tail end of Theismann’s career taught him a bitter lesson: I got stagnant. I thought the team revolved around me. I should have known it was time to go when I didn’t care whether a pass hit Art Monk in the 8 or the 1 on his uniform. When we went back to the Super Bowl, my approach had changed. I was griping about the weather, my shoes, practice times, everything.
Today I wear my two rings--the winner’s ring from Super Bowl XVII and the loser’s ring from Super Bowl XVIII. The difference in those two rings lies in applying oneself and not accepting anything but the best.
- This what we are looking at this morning, having the right attitude in life and during the Christmas season.
- It has the power to change our lives forever if we chose wisely.
- I want us to look at two sets of people this morning, a group of lepers and the King of Israel.
- I want to ask you the question first, who would you want to be? I think all of us would say the King and not the lepers.
- But the lepers showed something in there character that we all need to possess, especially in the Christmas season.
- All of us go through testing times from the Lord that will determine our character or will shape our character. We never come to place where we have arrived.
- The King failed in God’s request to bring him and the nation of Israel back to Himself.
- The lepers were failing in this attempt but they later realized there desperate situation and took a chance and because they did, God developed there character and it saved a nation from starvation.
- There is a great spiritual principle that I all want us to see and this is what it is:
- Choosing to follow God in the midst of difficulty will point people in the direction of God. I will further develop that thought in my message.
- Circumstances should not determine your Christian destiny. But I realize that it does from time to time.
- We all get discouraged, defeated or down. The question is are we going to give up on God? Are we going to stay down, blame others for our defeat?
I like what Viktor Frankl said concerning his time in a Nazi Concentration camp.
He was captured with his family. The Nazi killed his family in front of him, they cut off his wedding band from his finger, was tortured and worked to exhaustion.
When asked how he handled his ordeal in the worst place his response was this:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.
- So during this Christmas season how can we keep the focus on Christ and not ourselves?
- How do we get people to see that we are different and that circumstances don’t change our attitude? How does Jesus make the difference and how can that become a reality in our lives this morning?
- I want to give you 4 points that will help from this story in II Kings 6:24-7:20
- We are going to look at how the King would flip flop back and forth in his relationship with God and how he didn’t get back up and how he blamed others.
- We are also going to see how the group of lepers took a step of faith and it changed not only there lives but also the nation they were a part of.
- Lets look at together.
Point 1: We Need To Have The Attitude Of Humility Not Pride
(Refer to II Kings 6:24-31)
- This was a time of great depression in the nation of Israel.
- They had departed from the Lord and as a result great famine hit the land.
- A donkeys head sold 80 shekals of silver, which is about 2 pounds.
- The undesirable of the whole animal and that’s what was for sale.
- Not only that, but people were eating there own off spring, there own children because the famine was so bad.
- Because Israel had departed from a covenant of trust in God, His people committed horrible deeds against their own family.
- A major result of throwing aside God and His word is the loss of family love and affection.