Summary: Sermon 2 of the series. In salvation, none of us seek after God. He seeks us! In our fellowship with the Lord, however, we can drift away from God. How do we find our way back. In this sermon we consider the steps of rejecting the causes of our past failu
IV. Reject the Causes of Your Past Failures (2 Cor. 4:2; Ps. 32:3-5; Prov. 28:13)
2 Corinthians 4:2 But [we] have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
• When a person genuinely repents, he seeks to avoid repeating the sin!
• To put it simply, he does not plan to repeat the sin!
• The Bible pronounces serious consequences for willful sin.
• If we are honest, we will look back and examine the causes of our failure.
• We will acknowledge that those ways led to misery.
• Hear the Psalmist as he reflects the misery of past sinful ways:
Psalm 32:3-5 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
• We will seek God’s forgiveness, but we will seek to avoid again hurting the heart of God and others in that way.
• Playmates and Playgrounds must be changed.
QUOTE: True repentance shows itself in eager care not to offend again. This care prompts the sinner to go back on his past life to discover how it was that he came to sin, and to avoid the cause. Is it a friendship? Then he will cut the tender cord, though it were the thread of his life. Is it an amusement? Then he will for ever absent himself from that place, those scenes, and that companionship. Is it a profitable means of making money? Then he will rather live on a crust, than follow it a moment longer. Is it a study, a pursuit, a book? Then he will rather lose hand, or foot, or eye, than miss the favour of God, which is life. Is it something that the Church permits? Nevertheless, to him it shall be sin. If you cannot walk on ice without slipping or falling, it is better not to go on at all. If you cannot digest certain food, it is better not to put it in the mouth. (F.B. Meyer, Some Secrets of Christian Living)
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
• Failure to confess or failure to forsake, means that one will not prosper.
• To confess and forsake sin brings mercy!
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
What do you need to remove from your life? Apply!
V. Restore any Public or Private Harm
NOTE: In the providence of God, we will be concluding tonight the series on the Levitical offerings. We had scheduled a baptism, but were unable to follow through with those plans due to mechanical failure. So, it has just so happened (happened just so) that we will be preaching on the Trespass offering and the law of restitution.
• Remaining right with God and right with others is like swimming upstream.
• It will not happen automatically.
• As a matter of fact, if you do not maintain your relationship with the Lord with all diligence, you will drift away from God, drift downstream!
• We can so easily find ourselves without joy, without spiritual power, without the abiding peace of God, as a branch severed from the vine.
• We have been preaching on “Finding Your Way Back to God.”
I. Remember the Heart of God
II. Remove the Barrier between You and God
III. Receive the Forgiveness of God
IV. Reject the Causes of Your Past Failure
• Having taken these steps, you may find that the Lord is still prompting you to do more.
• What could that be?
• That is what we want to preach to you about today.
ILLUS: RESTITUTION - SHOPLIFTER COMES CLEAN… ALMOST
The story is told of a shoplifter who writes to a department store and says, "I've just become a Christian, and I can't sleep at night because I feel guilty. So here's $100 that I owe you."
Then he signs his name, and in a little postscript at the bottom he adds, "If I still can't sleep, I'll send you the rest."
Citation: Bill White; Paramount, California, Illustrations for Every Topic and Occasion - – Perfect Illustrations: For Every Topic and Occasion.
• Restoration is a step that, left undone, will hold back spiritual joy and victory in your life.
• We want to preach to you today on the subject of restoration or restitution.