We've released a new version of SermonCentral! Read the release notes here.
Sermons

Summary: God desires our company and wishes to have intimacy in our relationship with Him.

  Study Tools

MANY OF US GREW UP WITH AND HAVE BECOME VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE MANY STORIES FROM AESOP’S FABLES. ONE SUCH FABLE IS ENTITLED “THE BEAR AND THE TRAVELERS.”

IN THIS FABLE, IT IS SAID THAT TWO TRAVELERS WERE ON THE ROAD TOGETHER, WHEN A BEAR SUDDENLY APPEARED ON THE SCENE. BEFORE HE OBSERVED THEM, ONE MADE FOR A TREE AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, AND CLIMBED UP INTO THE BRANCHES AND HID THERE. THE OTHER WAS NOT SO NIMBLE AS HIS COMPANION; AND, AS HE COULD NOT ESCAPE, HE THREW HIMSELF ON THE GROUND AND PRETENDED TO BE DEAD.

THE BEAR CAME UP AND SNIFFED ALL AROUND HIM, BUT HE KEPT PERFECTLY STILL AND HELD HIS BREATH; FOR THEY SAY THAT A BEAR WILL NOT TOUCH A DEAD BODY. THE BEAR TOOK HIM FOR A CORPSE, AND WENT AWAY.

WHEN THE COAST WAS CLEAR, THE TRAVELER IN THE TREE CAME DOWN, AND ASKED THE OTHER WHAT IT WAS THE BEAR HAD WHISPERED TO HIM WHEN HE PUT HIS MOUTH TO HIS EAR. THE OTHER REPLIED," HE TOLD ME NEVER AGAIN TRAVEL WITH A FRIEND WHO DESERTS YOU AT THE FIRST SIGN OF DANGER." MISFORTUNE TESTS THE SINCERITY OF FRIENDSHIP.

BUT IT GOES BEYOND JUST MISFORTUNE. IT APPLIES TO ALL THE THINGS IN OUR LIVES. EVERY SINGLE DAY, WE MAKE CHOICES THAT SHOW WHETHER WE ARE COURAGEOUS OR COWARDLY. WE CHOOSE BETWEEN THE RIGHT THING AND THE CONVENIENT THING, STICKING TO A CONVICTION OR CAVING IN FOR THE SAKE OF COMFORT, GREED OR APPROVAL.

WE CHOOSE EITHER TO TAKE A CAREFULLY THOUGHT-OUT RISK OR TO CRAWL INTO A SHRINKING SHELL OF SAFETY AND SECURITY. WE CHOOSE EITHER TO BELIEVE IN GOD AND TRUST HIM, OR TO SECOND-GUESS HIM AND COWER IN THE CORNERS OF DOUBT AND FEAR.

THAT IS WHY IT IS SUCH A COMFORT TO KNOW THAT WE SERVE A GOD WHO WILL NOT ABANDON US WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH. IT IS A SECURITY OF MIND AND SOUL TO KNOW THAT WE SERVE A GOD THAT WILL NOT TURN ON US EVEN WHEN WE TURN FROM HIM.

GOD REMINDED US SEVERAL TIMES IN DEUTERONOMY 31:6,8; JOSHUA 1:5, AND HEBREWS 13:5, THAT “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR WILL I FORSAKE YOU.” GOD WANTS TO BE WITH US. GOD WANTS TO COMMUNE WITH US. GOD DESIRES TO DWELL WITH US. GOD DESIRES TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH US.

GOD WANTS US TO BE IN SUCH LOVE WITH HIM AND IN SUCH A DEEP FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM THAT IT WOULD COME TO THE POINT THAT WE WOULD GET SO CLOSE THAT IT WOULD SEEM AS IF WE COULD JUST REACH OUT AND PHYSICALLY TOUCH HIM.

THIS IS WHY IT IS SO CRITICAL TO HAVE A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF PRAYER. THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE WE REMIND OURSELVES OF THE BASICS OF PRAYER.

ONE, IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE BEGIN BY KNOWING THAT PRAYER DOES NOT ORIGINATE WITH US, BUT FROM GOD SEEKING US OUT, WHISPERING TO OUR HEARTS AND ENCOURAGING US TO RESPOND WITH AN INVITATION.

TWO, PRAYER IS ANOTHER WAY OF GOD LOVING US IMMENSELEY AND SHOWING US THAT HE WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH US. THREE, PRAYER IS A GIFT THAT GOD GIVES SO THAT WE CAN BE WITH HIM AND DEEPEN OUR FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS THIS: PRAYER SHOULD BE AN ENJOYABLE AND FULFILLING EXPERIENCE WITH OUR FRIEND AND WITH OUR GOD.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN WE LOOK BACK OVER OUR PRAYER-LIFE AND RECALL THAT PRAYER SEEMED MORE OF A DUTY TO FULFILL OR ANOTHER TASK WE FELT OBLIGATED TO PERFORM?


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion