Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God’s blessings are hindered by insensitivity, unbelief, and disobedience.


Hebrews 3:7-19; Ephesians 1:3

Illustration: Jackpot!

A young intern came into our hospital ward one evening, shaking his head. "There’s an old man out there by the vending machines," he said, "and he’s putting dollar bills into the money changer. Every time he gets his quarters, he yells, ’Jackpot!’ and dances around." The other nurses and I chuckled and soon forgot about it.

In a few hours, on our way for a coffee break, we saw a repairman in front of one of the vending machines. We asked him why he was working so late.

"I have to get this money changer fixed," he said. "It’s been giving $1.50 in quarters every time someone puts in a dollar bill."

The same is true about the blessings of God. The more that we do in Christ’s name the more blessings will be coming our way. (Dolores J. Craig, Reader’s Digest, April 1990, p. 17.)

Note: We need to keep in mind that even though God wants to bless us, that is not the primary motivation for us to serve Him. We should serve Him simply because we love Him. He blesses us, not because we serve Him, but because He loves us.


Illustration: Watch The Dog

A man and his dog were walking on the beach when they came upon another visitor to the beach. The owner of the dog was proud of his dog’s newly mastered feat, so he said to the visitor, "Watch this!" whereupon he tossed a piece of driftwood far out into the sea and the dog immediately ran on top of the ocean, fetched the wood, and ran back.

The visitor just shook his head in disbelief. Happily, the owner repeated the procedure twice.

Finally he asked the visitor, "Did you notice anything unusual?"

The visitor responded, "Yes, your dog can’t swim, can he?" (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 135.)

A. Are You Expecting A Blessing Or Wishing For A Blessing? Hebrews 3:7-8

Note: God wants to bless you today!

Illustration: The Joy Of A Blind Child

Many years ago a little girl was totally blind. She was blinded as an infant as the result of an accident. She lived to be over 90 years old. She became a saint of the American church. She wrote more than 8000 hymns and many popular Christian songs and choruses including ‘Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It,’ ‘I Shall Know Him,’ ‘He Hideth My Soul,’ ‘Tell Me the Story of Jesus,’ and ‘Blessed Assurance.’ Her name was Fanny Crosby. When she was only eight years old, she wrote:

Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see.

I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t.

To weep and sigh because I’m blind--I cannot and I won’t. (John Yates II, "The Man Born Blind," Preaching Today, Tape No. 46.)

1. Believers often provoke God because they distrust that He will care and provide for them. Lamentations 3:22-23

2. They murmur against God and His leaders and rebel against God. Hebrews 10:23-25

3. They have a sense of regret for the life they left behind, and long for the pleasures of sin. (It’s so hard to be a Christian.) Psalms 30:4-5

B. Does Your Trust Demand From God Or Ask Of God?Hebrews 3:9

Illustration: Real Credibility

If you tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe, he’ll believe you. But if you tell him a bench has just been painted, he has to touch it to be sure. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 132.)

1. Rather than believing God, we often test Him to see if He is really good and will meet our needs.

2. We put God to the test to see if He meets our approval.

3. We want God to simply provide without any trial or suffering.

4. We are unwilling to prove ourselves, unwilling to show that we really love God, no matter what.

5. We want God to prove Himself worthy of our loyalty and trust.

6. This is total disobedience.

C. Does Your Attitude Please God Or Provoke God? Hebrews 3:10-11

1. God has promised to meet our needs and He always has.

2. We may not have the luxuries of life, but we do have God’s care and provision.

3. We can know the ways of God, and trust Him in all we do.

4. God does not enjoy our grumbling, questioning, distrust, unbelief, or disobedience.

5. God requires faith and trust; that is His way.

6. Once we really believe God, the more we will:

a. Learn to draw near to God.

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