Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "David’s Lamp".
Series: “David’s Lamp”(Kings Of Judah) [#1]
1. Isn’t it amazing how a jet airliner as large as a football field, loaded with people and freight, can run down a concrete road and fly into the air with no problems? To look at these huge pieces of metal sitting on the runway, you would not think it moved more than 5 miles per hour. I have flown in all sizes of airplanes. Each one of them has unique benefits and limitations. However, they all have the same purpose, and they all follow the same laws of aerodynamics. Church in many ways are like airplanes. Some resemble little Piper Cub. They do not carry many passengers, but are easy to maneuver and operate. There are churches that resemble King Aires that are small but faster than Piper Cubs. Still other churches are like corporate jets. Luxurious and compact. They carry one kind of passenger-the businesses executive-to his destination fast. Then there are the B-52 bomber churches. They are old, out-of-date and sluggish. They compensate by dropping bombs on everybody. Of course, there are elegant and impressive 747 churches, so large they fit only a few places, but are instantly famous for size alone.
2. Uneasiness on the part of passengers (Congregations) is not confined to just mega churches. In many Southern Baptist Churches, 50 upset members can result in a crash. In thousands of congregations, one upset family can bring down the flight! In 2 Chronicles 12 the Kingdom of Israel was dividing. Israel had three Kings-Saul, David, and Solomon. Solomon’s son Rehoboam had risen to the throne of the tribe of Judah in the southern kingdom. Rehoboam was so wicked that God allowed the Egyptians to rob and trample the temple. Among the items stolen were the golden shields that God had instructed Solomon to make and place at the temple during worship. The golden shields represented God’s standard of excellence. Embarrassed by the Egyptian defeat, Rehoboam commissioned craftsmen to make new shields from brass. Rehoboam knew the brass shields were a cheap imitation, but if these shields were polished everyday, he could pass them off as the real thing. Our church needs to look now and see where we have substituted shields of brass for God’s standards of excellence, shields of gold.
3. Once Rehoboam was robbed of the former glory, he was faced with two options. We are faced with the same two options today. We can humble ourselves, admit it, come before God and repent. The other choice is that we can continue to try to make things appear on the surface as they once were. We can hold up a cheap substitute before the world but it will not withstand close inspection.
The Standard Of Excellence Revealed
1. The glory of Solomon’s kingdom is beyond description. The temple that was built in Jerusalem was impressive. God designed the temple. God instructed how it should be built. In his early days, King Solomon loved the Lord and followed Him and was blessed. Solomon made 500 shields of gold. 200 of the shields were large and weighed 7 ½ pounds each and the other 300 shields weighed 3 pounds each. Each one of them were made of solid gold. Try to imagine the length of a football field lined on two sides with armor bearers holding the shields of gold as the king made his way up to the temple to worship. Those golden shields symbolized the purity, integrity and the glory of Jehovah God’s standard of excellence. These shields were never meant to use for war. They were only brought out of their vault when the king was going to the temple to worship. The shields were not Solomon’s idea. The plans came from God. They were part of God’s design.
2. God has established a standard of excellence for His church. God’s standard of excellence can be seen in the Book of Acts and in the Epistles. Many churches have forsaken God’s standard of excellence revealed in the Scriptures by buying into slick market-driven public relations approaches. We have a pattern for excellence. We need to take these Biblical principles and use them in a way that people today can understand. The size of the congregation is irrelevant. The standard of excellence fits all sizes of congregations.
3. The early church engaged its culture-a pagan culture. They did not do it by holding on to previous traditions and religions. Of course there were some people that did not want to change things. That is what the Jerusalem conference was about in Acts 15. They applied the standard of excellence: prayer, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, the power of God working and yielding through them as they engaged a culture. They did not care who got the glory. They worshipped. They equipped believers. They broke out of their shells. They went outside where the people were; in the work place, in the marketplace, and they engaged their culture. God has a standard of excellence. The Church of Jesus Christ desperately needs to rediscover that standard. If we do, the glory of God will come. If we do not, we will hobble around substituting shields of brass for shields of gold.