Summary: David learned and we must see that without sacrifice...we gain nothing! And our lives will not please God...

SERMON: “No Cost? Your Loss!....

The Cost of a Christ-Centered Life"

Jennifer Mears 11/1/2006

Text: II Samuel Chapter 24

(Read the text ----FULL CHAPTER----focus on last two verses)

David had sinned ---he committed a great sin by numbering the people of Israel

· text does not state exactly what the sin was

· Interpreted as: The sin was not in the counting and numbering of the people, but it was in David’s disobedient heart…and the fall of PRIDE! And, that David was trusting in the size of his empire ….the military number and strength RATHER THAN leaning on God and trusting on HIS DIVINE Protection and Care! AND GOD WANTED ISRAEL TO TRUST IN HIM!

I have often wondered just what blessings I have missed or how much trouble I have brought upon myself because I failed to hear and obey God.

Would my family or my friends… or co-workers be living different lives if we had spent more time in prayer or daily family devotions?

Praying in faith for their deliverances, salvations, blessings, etc.

Would I be walking on a different/better path than I’m right now?

What would be different? What if I had learned early to obey His voice----sooner…..more clearly….more often?

How much time…money…and gifts have I wasted?

The lesson in this is - God prefers our trust in Him over in our own numbers or ideas or, power, knowledge and strength!

We can’t go back and correct the past, but we can do what is right from now on.

· Repent

· make things right with God

· BUT we may need to suffer the consequences of making some bad decisions.

Just as David did when he realized the price for his failure, we must also stop and count the cost of what has happened already and see where God wants us to go now.

David was given 3 Punishment Choices for his sin Moses warned of all of these punishments for those who broke God’s Covenants. – Deuteronomy 28:15-68

(ask congregation to write down scripture and read later during their own devotional time)

1. 7 years of famine (causing them to have to depend on others for food provision and water…weakening his army and kingdom)

2. 3 months of flight (running from the enemy)

3. 3 days of plague (unknown origin)

David said that “all of them are terrible”! He said, ”BUT, God’s Mercy is great and I would rather not fall into human hands….I will choose 3 days of plague.”

David realized that God would be more merciful than a person. “HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER”!!!

· Mercies- speaks of a Mother’s tender compassion for her child AND even in God’s Wrath, God has tender mercy on those he disciplines.

· The nature of the plague was not specified in the text but we know it was originated (created) by The Lord.

God had sent the Death Angel….The Angel had already destroyed 70,000 men before David could find a place to build an altar of repentance…..

Not only was David dealing with all that, now, God instructs David through the prophet Gad, to purchase a threshing floor and not just any threshing floor, but Araunah’s (uh-raw-nah) –later known as Ornan in Biblical writings)…this was to be the place to build the altar.

Gad told David that he was to build an altar to the Lord, and call upon His Holy Name! to end the plague that God brought to Israel because of David’s disobedience…the offering for forgiveness (offering means to bring near----get into God’s presence---seek His face)

I believe that God is always pointing us to the place of our altar. His Spirit is drawing and seeking those who would serve Him and repent, then turn and follow His leading.

· you can build an altar anywhere that you are.

· You can stop anywhere, anytime and begin to pray

· But, we must ALWAYS wait upon The Lord - We can’t force God to move! God moves in His own time and in His own way.

· HE IS AN ONTIME GOD – we just show up early or late…

· It is important to pray----

“God, show us where to build an altar of prayer and sacrifice in our own lives as we are in service to you. Show us where we have failed so that we may repent. We must realize that if we are going to be in the SERVING GOD BUSINESS- there is a price to pay!

Jesus bought our salvation. Our part is to believe and repent ….and then believe, heed and receive!

But, there is much more!

**We must also desire to become more like Christ each day. **We must learn to let the world see Jesus through us….”let our Light shine so before men…”

There is a daily walk of sanctification, prayer, communion with God and faithfulness that must begin to happen. A relationship…a change…newness of life! The process of changing is a lifelong job. The scripture says that we are to “grow line upon line and precept upon precept until we come into the fullness of the maturity of being in Christ and being like Him in every way.”

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