Summary: 9 of ? The prophet Jeremiah contrasted two major aspects of Independence—Independence from God versus independence from the world. Dependence upon YHWH brings independence from worldly influence. How can I be independent of worldly influence? A Healthy Independence Engages...
HEALTHY INDEPENDENCE-IX—Jeremiah 17:11(:1-14)
The following was written by a pastor describing one of his experiences...
I love children. I love being around them & watching them play.
Once in a while, I get it into my head to give a children's sermon. Even though I know I don't know how to do it effectively, I still do it.
Several years ago, such an opportunity presented itself. I say "opportunity," but it was more like an insane taunting, which usually gets my attention.
I scheduled a short children's sermon in a Sunday morning worship service. I worked hard on it knowing my little audience would have a rather short attention span.
My supreme idea focused on ‘the Children of Israel.’ I wanted to explain to these youngsters how important they were in the scheme of God's planning for salvation. I had an object lesson(which I now can't remember) & was excited about presenting it on Sunday.
I was sure my sermonette would be a hit - this time. My confidence exceeded experience, to be sure.
Actually, the first part of the children's sermon went rather well, which caused me to feel I had finally mastered this ministry. Amazingly all the children attentively listened as I spoke.
Everything seemed to be going quite well & then I spied little Gary. I hadn't noticed him before, but there he was.
Gary was the kind of boy with 17 questions for every thought you might express.
As I spoke, I noticed the wheels were turning in little Gary's mind & I experienced a rush of panic. I did all I could not to look in Gary's direction.
Then, I heard that excitable voice saying, "Pastor, pastor."
I thought if I just ignored him, I could get through with my sermonette. Gary, however, was the kind of boy who didn't take ignoring too kindly.
"Pastor, pastor," the little voice persisted.
I heard a little gasp in the audience, which I recognized as Gary's mother.
Finally, to save face on my part, I turned to Gary, knowing it was a mistake & said, "Yes, Gary."
"Pastor, there's somethin' I jus’ can't figure out. According to what you said, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"
"Yes, Gary," I said, hoping to put it to rest & move on with the lesson.
"Well, Pastor, you said the Children of Israel beat up the Philistines, right?"
"Ah, yes, that's right, Gary. They ‘beat up’ the Philistines."
"And then you said the Children of Israel built the Temple. Isn't that right pastor?"
"Again, you're right, Gary," I said, hoping that was the end of the questions. There are times when I'm right, but this wasn't one of them.
I thought I heard a muffled giggle. I earnestly prayed that nobody would giggle, which would have set the entire congregation on a mirth trip.
Pausing to gather his thoughts, Gary said, "And the Children of Israel fought the Egyptians & the Children of Israel were always doing something important. Isn't that right, pastor."
"Yes, Gary. The Children of Israel were used of God in many ways."
I could see that Gary was more puzzled than ever, so I violated my rule of ignoring Gary & queried, “What seems to be bothering you?”
I knew I should not have asked that question. Experience with Gary told me not to, & for a brief moment in time the usual concern escaped me completely because of the sincerity behind Gary’s questions.
Gary continued, “If the Children of Israel were doing all of that stuff,”...he thoughtfully paused.
Gary looked me directly in the eye & asked, “If the Children of Israel were doing all those things, then what were all the grown-ups doing?”
Little Gary’s INDEPENDENCE caused him to think ‘out of the box’! Little Gary’s INDEPENDENCE caused him to think ‘out of the box’!...
And God’s people must exhibit a ‘Healthy Independence’ that ALSO causes THEM to ‘think out of the box.’ That is, a ‘Healthy Independence’ causes God’s people to approach life by God’s wisdom—in comparison to the wisdom of the world.
?Are you living INDEPENDENTLY of that which has potential to destroy you?
The prophet Jeremiah contrasted two major aspects of Independence—Independence from God versus independence from the world.
*Dependence upon YHWH brings independence from worldly influence.
What can be gleaned by contrasting healthy & unhealthy independence?
*How can I be independent of worldly influence?
So far we’ve found that A Healthy Independence Engages(deals with/handles/manages)...
1. A RESIDENT REBELLION(:1)
2. An ABERRANT EDUCATION(:2)
3. BLINDLY SIGHTED BENEFITS(:3-4)
4. An ANGERING LIFESTYLE(:4e)
5. MISPLACED/Aberrant TRUSTS(:5)
6. The ‘CURSE’ Of MISPLACED/Aberrant TRUST(:6)
7. A CORRECTED TRUST(:7)
8. A TELLING PLANTING(:8)
9. INTERNAL DECEITFULNESS(:9)
10. A THOROUGH & DECISIVE SEARCH(:10)
Today we’ll find that:
11—A Healthy Independence Engages(deals with/handles/manages)...