"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio

Sermons

Summary: A study of the response of the majority to the land God promised to the people of Israel provides standards for following God in our church and in our lives.

“The men who had gone up with [Caleb] said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.’ So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, ‘The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.’

“Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?’ And they said to one another, ‘Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.’

“Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.’” [1]

Rudyard Kipling, poet laureate of Victorian England wrote the poem, “If.” The poem evokes the forgotten quality of self-discipline. This is that poem.

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And – which is more – you'll be a Man my son! [2]

The sentiments of this poem are not necessarily embraced by this present generation, but it cannot be denied that sentiments such as those presented in the poem built a great empire and produced men admired throughout the entire world. Perhaps we would be well advised to consider embracing these qualities once again in order to ensure producing men of character.

The saints of the Most High God are not to be driven by emotion. The inhabitants of this fallen world are characterised by being driven by emotion. Our world is safer from shootings than at any time in multiple decades, and yet crowds insistently demand that politicians “Do something.” Death from opioid abuse has risen by an astounding four hundred percent. People are far more likely to die from beatings, from vehicle accidents, from drowning, and yet, the populace cries out for politicians “do something!”

What cannot be denied is that we have witnessed a breakdown of morality in modern society as the family and faith have been seriously eroded. These are foundational to the stability of any society. Though we are technologically advance compared to former generations, contemporary culture is morally stunted. The Psalmist has asked,

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