Summary: It is time for the church to worship the God of the Bible and not the God of our experience.
September 6, 2009
Text: Zephaniah 3:14-17
Subject: God’s Might
Title: God is Mighty to Save
Last week I shared with you about how God is ready to take us to the next level. He is calling the church to a higher place and is preparing us for something great. The work of God is not to be taken lightly. It is not something that just happens – it requires work. And when the church goes about the task of being involved in God’s work, the enemy of your souls begins to get nervous. He will do everything within his limited power as the god of this world to bring God’s work to a halt. Just in the last few weeks there have been family blow-ups, financial struggles, and sickness that has invaded this church. And yet we keep moving forward in the power of God and the will of God doing the work of God because we know without a doubt that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands (now called Vanuatu). One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station.
Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 18.
We all know that we are involved in spiritual warfare. That warfare intensifies as believers become more effective for the cause of Christ, and that is where the church is headed. I’m reminded of how Elisha prayed for the eyes of his servant to be opened when he saw that they were surrounded by the enemy. 2 Kings 6:16-17, 16“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The God who watched over the prophet and the nation of Israel then is still watching over His people today.
Read Zephaniah 3:14-17
Lord I thank you for your word and I ask that you would anoint my lips to speak, and that you would anoint the ears and eyes and hearts and minds of those who are here today to receive from your word today.
I. A REASON TO REJOICE 14Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The first thing we need to look at in this passage is what is taking place in Jerusalem. Zephaniah prophesied to Judah of the pending disaster that awaited them because of their sin. He told of the judgment on those who had worship false gods (1:4-6) Read He told of the punishment to come. He spoke of the “Day of the Lord”, in this case he was referring to the immediate judgment to come upon them. He also gave them instructions in chapter 2 about how they could avoid the judgment to come. 3 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’S anger. This message could have been for right now and he could have been speaking to America. This is the America I am talking about that has elected a president who has absolutely no Christian values, who is more concerned about his own image than the welfare of the nation. This is the president who is on the verge of declaring martial law. A congressman from the south has predicted that the coming “swine flu” pandemic will be the trigger for martial law, when the military will take over the government under the direction of the president. In such a scenario it would likely become illegal for any type of public meetings to take place (churches would be included) under the guise as a protective measure for the health of the community. We have become a vile nation that has turned its back on the God who established us, protected us, and exalted us on the world stage. We would only be receiving what the nation has asked for – a non - Christian government. We are placing ourselves under the same judgment that fell upon Israel. In spite of all that lurks on the horizon, the Lord has a message of hope for Christians. As a matter of fact we are to look past what appears to be happening in the world and look to who God is. 14Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! God is constantly giving us a reminder that who He is always trumps what is going on in the world. Psalm 3,