Summary: The choice to live right in a world going wrong is for each of us to make for ourselves.
Living Right In A World Going Wrong
Text: Romans 15:4
As many of you know we spent the last couple of days up in Portland attending the graduation of our daughter Darcy from Cascade College. It was a delightful experience, not just for observing and celebrating this chapter in her young life but for the atmosphere and spirit of Christ which permeated the entire schedule of events. It was refreshing to hear glory given to God so freely and clearly in the many speeches we listened to over the many events.
One particular speech was for an honor being bestowed on one of the graduates, a young man who was being recognized for the many challenges and obstacles he had overcome in order to reach this day of graduation. His had been a life of gangs and all the issues that had come with that lifestyle, including having been arrested. The story was told that many on the faculty had doubts that he would be able to adapt to the lifestyle of the Cascade campus, an environment so different than the one in which he had spent his childhood.
His story is one which reminds us of the power of the spirit of Christ to transform lives, and his was transformed into one of faith and strong conviction. This young man had chosen to live right in a world going wrong and like Christ he overcame the world.
In our lesson this evening I would like to examine other cases where the same choice was made.
Romans 15:4 (NASB) For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Throughout scripture we find people who chose to live right in a world going wrong and who give us the proper examples to follow.
I. Caleb and Joshua – Numbers 13:30-14:9
A.The two faithful spies, Caleb and Joshua, gave a good report of the land in the context of robust faith in God.
1.They knew that the living and faithful God would give it to His people. They repeated the slogan of redemption concerning the land: a land which flows with milk and honey (13:27).
2.They reasoned, “if the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land.”
3.“They are our prey” (14:9) was an expression of the victory envisioned by the good spies, approximating the exaggerated language of the rebellious spies (13:33).
4.These words of encouragement were accompanied by words of strong warning. To speak as the people had done was an act of rebellion and cowardice. The people were not trusting God.
5.To live right in a world going wrong requires putting trust and faith in God.
II. Joshua and his house - Joshua 24:14 - 15 (NASB) “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
A.You choose what you are going to do, and who you are going to serve, but for me and my house we are serving the Lord.
1.Living right in a world going wrong is a decision. Life comes down to one of two choices, you either are going to serve Jesus or you are going to serve the world.
2.It is a choice that everyone has to make, you cannot straddle the fence, you can’t be lukewarm, and this is an all or nothing decision.
a.This was the admonition to the church in Laodicea
Revelation 3:15 - 16 (NASB) ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
3.Joshua saw life in black and white, and told the people, he and his family were going to serve God and live right in a world going wrong.
III. David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17:32-37; 45-47
A.David knows and proclaims that the victory is God’s.
1.He acts in confidence knowing God is on his side.
IV. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego
Daniel 3:16 - 18 (NASB) Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.