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Summary: This sermon looks at how we may have to choose between being a true Christian, or simply taking the path of convenience in our walk with the Lord. Jeroboam is the main character.

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IS IT CHRISTIAN OR CONVENIENT

I Kings 11:26-40, 2 Timothy 2:1-30, Text I Kings 12:25-33

Early 2/26/93

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We live in a world intent on making things convenient for

us. There are a host of things that have made living more conven

ient and human bodies more lazy. We no longer desire to rise

and cross the room to change the TV channel. For heavens sake,

where is the remote control. Advertisers constantly tell us that

this new product, be it a car, a vacuum cleaner, or a bottle of

bleach is more convenient for us. Today if its not convenient,

we leave it alone until we find something that is.

Our expectation of convenience is forever creeping into our

spiritual lives as well. The only problem is that when Jesus

said, if anyone would follow me he or she must pick up his or her

cross daily and follow me, Jesus forgot to add the phrase, that

is when you find it convenient to do so.

When there is a job to be done at the church or at home,

does your willingness to volunteer for the job depend on whether

it is Christian to do so, or whether it is convenient for you to

do so. I have found in my walk with the Lord, that the Christian

thing to do, is not usually the convenient thing to do. I’ve even

discovered that God expects me to do things at some very incon

venient times.

Today let’s look at how the desire for convenience destroyed

the spiritual life a nation. Our story begins at the end of King

Solomon’s life. Many people know of King’s Solomon’s wisdom,

however he was a man who did not listen to his own advice. Solo

mon fell in love with sex and turned his back on God in his old

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age. As he forgot God, he became a more ruthless leader, oppress

ing his people with heavy taxes and forcing them to do work to

support his wild, lavish, lifestyle. God told Solomon that

because of his sin, Solomon’s son would lose part of the nation

of Israel.

When Solomon’s son became king, he tried to be Mr. Bad and

told the people, "If you think my dad was tough, you ain’t seen

nothing yet. I’m going to show you what being hard really is. He

found out you can’t talk to people any kind of a way and get away

with it. The people revolted and the nation was split into two

kingdoms. Two of the twelve tribes followed Solomon’s son and

became the Kingdom of Judah, the other 10 tribes followed a man

by the name of Jeroboam, and became the Kingdom of Isreal. God

chose Jeroboam to be leader of the 10 tribes.

He tells Jeroboam in 1 Kings 11:35-38 "I will take the

kingdom from Solomon’s son’s hands and give you ten tribes. {36}

I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may

always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose

to put my Name. {37} However, as for you, I will take you, and

you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king

over Israel. {38} If you do whatever I command you and walk in my

ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and

commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will

build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and

will give Israel to you.

Now Jeroboam could not have asked for a better deal from the

hand of God. Unfortunately Jeroboam did not fully trust the Lord.

ð 7 3 ŠFollow with me in 1 Kings 12:25. One of the first thing that

Jeroboam does after God makes him king is to try to protect

himself from being removed. He fortifies two cities, Shechem and

Peniel. This would keep the invaders from attacking his country.

The next thing he does is seeks to keep from being removed

from within. It’s amazing how quickly Jeroboam either forgets or

rejects the promises of God. God tells him, I will make you and

your children kings forever. God has taken a nobody and makes him

king. Yet this nobody does not believe that God is willing to

keep His word.

Instead of remembering God, Jeroboam starts to thinking, the

Scriptures says in, 1 Kings 12:26-27 Jeroboam thought to himself,

"The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. {27}

If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the

LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their

lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to

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