Sermons

Summary: How we need to make a difference

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It’s not what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you are not." - Denis Waitley

I’ve learned: that we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for, that money doesn’t buy class. That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular, that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved, that to ignore the facts does not change them.

That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you, that love, not time, heals all wounds. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am, that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

that there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies, and feeling their breath on your cheeks, that no one is perfect until you fall in love with him or her. That opportunity is never lost; someone will take the ones you miss, that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere. That I wish I could have told those I cared about that I love them one more time before they passed away. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

OUR STANDING BEFORE GOD-ONE CAN MAKE A DIFFEERENCE

I Kings 17:1-7

It was a desperate hour of darkness for Israel. The Scriptures say that Ahab did more to provoke the LORD to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him 16:33. Not only was Ahab the first king to serve and worship Baal, he built a temple in Samaria dedicated to the worship of Baal. The five previous kings before Ahab were bad enough, but Ahab was the worst of the lot. Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom, made two golden calves so that the northerners would forget about their pilgrimage to the Jerusalem temple in the south. The four kings after him, including his son Nadab, Baasha, founding king of the second dynasty and Baasah’s son Elah , and Omri, the founder of the third dynasty and Ahab’s father, were no worse than Jeroboam. The charges against them were the same: they did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit. But Samaria under the reign of Ahab and the unmistakable influence of Jezebel was the most pagan and profane place in Israel at that time. Not only was Baal worship practiced and commended by the king, the Asherah pole became a national and royal treasure. True, Baal and Asherah worship were common in the new land at the time of the Judges after Joshua’s death and the Israelites were openly practicing Asherah worship shortly before Jezebel’s arrival but now the king had sanctioned and legitimized the two religions. Idolatry was in fashion, in full swing, and in primetime.

Ahab, the northern king, did the most foolish, offensive and irreligious thing in God’s eyes. He married the Gentile, idolatrous, and evil Jezebel. No one was like Jezebel. Never in the northern kingdom Israel’s history had a queen wielded such power over the land, and such influence and sway over the king. She was a Sidonian, not a Hebrew, and through her influence, Ahab became the first king to set up an altar for Baal and to make an Asherah pole thus provoking the LORD to anger more than all the kings of Israel before him. After Jezebel had set up shop in Israel, she had a stable of 850 prophets in her service; 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah ate at Jezebel’s table. She was such a renowned prophet killer, that the prophets hid in horror at caves and ran for their lives at the mention of her name. Prophets like Elijah were so discouraged and depressed that they wanted to quit serving and living. Jezebel influenced Ahab in politics, religions, morality and ethics. This king and queen wanted the worship of Baal to be a national happening and had killed all the preachers of the good news of God’s love. There were still 7,000 that had not given up their worship of the true God but they were in hiding. The whole nation seemed to be in the sway of idolatry and shame. It seems as I read the paper on some days that our nation is in the same way. It was a desperate hour of darkness for the nation of Israel. God’s judgment would be coming if someone did not some forward who had a right standing with God. This man named Elijah had his equal in John the Baptist and Moses. It was in this time that a man came forth who knew God and that God would put a stop to the wickedness of the time. The people who were supposed to be holy needed to be challenged about the decay of their spiritual life.


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