Sermons

Summary: We may all start well, but do we all end well? What are we depending upon for our spiritual growth?

AS MORTAL AND FALLIBLE HUMANS, WE PUT OUR TRUST IN A LOT OF THINGS. WE TRUST THE DOCTOR TO DIAGNOSE OUR HEALTH PROPERLY. WE TRUST THAT THE PILOT IS THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED TO FLY AND LAND THE AIRPLANE.

WE TRUST OUR TEACHERS TO EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN PROPERLY. WE TRUST THAT THE POSTAL SERVICE WILL SEND AND DELIVER OUR MAIL. WE EVEN TRUST OUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES SO MUCH THAT WE’RE WILLING TO SEND THEM OUR MONEY EACH MONTH SO THAT THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF US, OUR HOMES, CARS, AND PROPERTY.

SO, WHEN IT COMES TO OUR MINISTRY, OUR CHURCH, AND OUR GOD, ARE WE JUST AS TRUSTING? DO WE REALLY TRUST GOD TO HEAR OUR PRAYERS? DO WE TRUST THAT THE PASTOR REALLY HAS THE BEST INTREST AT HEART FOR THE CHURCH? DO WE REALLY TRUST OUR FELLOW BELIEVER’S MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH AND THAT THEY HAVE NO HIDDEN MOTIVESIN WHAT THEY DO? DO WE REALLY TRUST THE CHURCH TO USE OUR TITHING TO THE GLORY OF GOD?

IF OUR SECULAR, ALL-INCLUSIVE, AND PLURALISTIC NATION CAN AT LEAST PUT “IN GOD WE TRUST” ON, OF ALL THINGS, OUR MONEY, CAN WE, AT LEAST, TRUST GOD ALL THE MORE?

TRUST HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE A MAJOR ISSUE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. TRUST MEANS TO HAVE FAITH AND HOPE IN, AND TO SHOW RELIANCE ON AND COMMIT TO THE ONE YOU ARE PLACING THE TRUST UPON.

IT IS THIS VERY CONCEPT THAT JERIMIAH HAS PLACED HIS EMPHASIS. IT IS THE BASIC CONCEPT OF PLACING OUR SOLE NEED OF RELIANCE UPON GOD ALONE FOR ALL OF LIFE’S CIRCUMSTANCES.

JERMIAH IS FORWARDING ON THE WORDS OF GOD TO SIMPLY TELL US THAT WHERE PEOPLE DEPEND ON HUMANKIND RATHER THAN ON GOD, SPIRITUAL LIFE CANNOT AND WILL NOT THRIVE.

NO, I AM NOT DENYING OR SPEAKING AGAINST THE FACT THAT THERE IS STILL A TRUST IN MAN THAT IS NATURAL AND RIGHT. WHAT I AM SAYING IS WHEN THAT HUMAN TRUST BECOMES FOOLISH AND WRONG BY OVERTAKING THE PLACE OF GOD.

FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN WE TRUST OUR PRESIDENT MORE THAN GOD TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR NATION. WHEN WE PLACE MORE TRUST IN THE SKILL OF A PHYSICIAN TO CURE US THAN GOD’S ABILITY TO HEAL US. WHEN WE TRUST THE ASTUTENESS OF THE LAWYER TO BE SUFFICIENT TO DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF LIBERTY, RELIGION, AND THE SANCTITY OF LIFE MORE THAN GOD WHO AUTHORED THESE VERY CAUSES.

THE BIBLE IS FILLED WITH STORIES OF HUMANITY DROWNING IN THE DEPTHS OF SORROW BECAUSE THEY TURNED TO THE FLEASH RATHER THAN TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

HOW MAN ACCOUNTS DO WE SEE WHERE NATION AFTER NATION HAS FALLEN TO ITS RUIN AFTER TURNING TO WORLDLY INFLUENCES RATHER THAN TO PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH, TO THE MORTAL RATHER THAN TO THE DIVINE, TO THE MAN WHO WILL PERISH RATHER THAN TO THE GOD WHO IS ETERNAL.

ALEXANDER FRASER TYTLER WHO LIVED AT THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, WROTE IN HIS BOOK, “THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ATHENIAN REPUBLIC” A CHILLING WARNING.

TYTLER FOUND THAT ANCIENT DEMOCRACIES DECLINED UNDER THE SELFISHNESS AND DEPENDENCE UPON THE HUMAN HEARTS HE WROTE: "THE AVERAGE AGE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST CIVILIZATIONS HAS BEEN 200 YEARS. THESE NATIONS HAVE PROGRESSED THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SEQUENCE:

FROM BONDAGE TO SPIRITUAL FAITH;

FROM SPIRITUAL FAITH TO GREAT COURAGE;

FROM COURAGE TO LIBERTY;

FROM LIBERTY TO ABUNDANCE;

FROM ABUNDANCE TO SELFISHNESS;

FROM SELFISHNESS TO COMPLACENCY;

FROM COMPLACENCY TO APATHY;

FROM APATHY TO DEPENDENCY;

FROM DEPENDENCY BACK TO BONDAGE.”

THIS CYCLE OBVIOUSLY PROVES IS THAT SOCIETY AS A WHOLE CAN START WELL, BUT NOT NECESSARILY END WELL. THE LEVEL OF A SOCIETIES STATUS SEEMS TO DEPEND UPON THAT SOCIETIES ABILITY TO PLACE THEIR DEPENDENCE UPON THE RIGHT THINGS IN LIFE.

WHEN ONE BECOMES TOTALLY DEPENDENT UPON THEMSELVES, SOMEONE ELSE, OR EVEN A GOVERNMENT OR AN ORGANIZATION, THEY WILL SOON IMPLODE FROM THE BURDEN OF USING UP ALL THEIR ENERGY AND RESOURCES TO SATISFY THEIR LEVEL OF NEED. THEY WILL WASTE AWAY SINCE THEY WERE NEVER CREATED WITH THE ABILITY TO MEET THEIR OWN NEEDS ALL BY THEMSELVES IN THE FIRST PLACE. LIKE A SCRUB BUSH IN THE DESERT, THEY WILL SOON DRY UP AND BECOME PARCHED, FRUITLESS, AND BARREN.

THE IMAGRY OF THE DWARF JUNIPER IN THE DESERT IS TO SYMBOLIZE THE ONE WHO DOES NOT ALLOW THEIR LIFE TO BE NURISHED AND SUSTAINED BY GOD IN A SPIRITUAL WAY. THESE ARE THE ONES WHO BECOME BOTH STUNTED AND STARVED NOT ONLY SPIRIUTALLY, BUT MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY.

THAT IS WHY THE IMAGE IS ONE OF A SHRUB INSTEAD OF A MAJESTIC, STURDY, AND FLURISHING TREE. THE SHRUB IS A SCRAWNY, STUNTED, FRUITLESS, BUSH INCAPABLE OF DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN TO JUST EXIST IN AN AREA OF BARRENNESS.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR US TODAY IS THE FACT THAT THERE IS A MUCH BETTER WAY TO LIVE. JEREMIAH PROCLAIMS IN VERSES 7-8, THAT IF WE WILL PLACE ALL OUR TRUST IN THE LORD, WE “...WILL BE LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY THE WATER THAT SENDS OUT IT’S ROOTS BY THE STREAM.”

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John L Jefferson

commented on Jan 6, 2008

This is a great message I enjoyed reading it, I help in the since the remind me I too must trust in God.

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