Sermons

Summary: GOD’S PRESENCE PROMISES STABILITY. Here are Three Lessons for today¡¦s way of thinking.

October 8, 2000 -- AM

PROMISE IN HIS PRESENCE

Habakkuk 2:18-20

INTRODUCTION:

(1) God does not leave us comfortless, but we have to be in dire need of comfort to know the truth of his promise. It is in time of calamity . . . in days and nights of sorrow and trouble that the presence, the sufficiency, and the sympathy of God grow very sure and very wonderful. Then we find out that the grace of God is sufficient for all our needs, for every problem, and for every difficulty, for every broken heart, and for every human sorrow. Peter Marshall (1902-1949)

(2) I have often, myself, sat in darkness, and cried aloud for the Holy Spirit to deliver me from the fantasies that gather round a parched soul like flies round a rotting carcass in the desert. Likewise, I have sat tongue-tied, crying out to be given utterance, and delivered from the apprehensions that afflict the earth-bound. And never, ultimately, in vain. Jesus’ promise is valid; the Comforter needs only to be summoned. The need is the call, the call is the presence, and the presence is the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990)

Three Lessons for today¡¦s way of thinking

I. It is a waste of worship to make a business into a religion (Habakkuk 2:18).

A. The Chaldean idols were created partially for their commercial profit.

B. The business was ¡§religiously¡¨ trusted for false security.

II. Manufactured objects can never meet spiritual needs (Habakkuk 2:19).

A. The Chaldean idols were expected to provide direction for the living.

B. The idols lacked a basic spiritual ingredient: LIFE.

III. The true source of human help can always be met at His designated place of authority (Habakkuk 2:20).

A. The LORD provides contrast (But).

B. The LORD demonstrates control (In His holy temple).

C. The LORD allows no compromise (Let all).

The presence of God is a fact of life. St. Paul rightly said of God, "In him we live, and move, and have our being." Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you." We may, by defying the purpose of God, insulate ourselves from that presence. We may, by unrepented sin, cut off the sense of God because we are clouded by a sense of guilt. We may, through no fault of our own, be unable to sense the God who is all about us. But the fact remains that he is with us all the time.

J. B. Phillips (1906-1982)

PROPOSITION: GOD¡¦S GLORY DEMANDS THE RESPONSE OF GLORY.

Here are Four elements of fruitful glory found in reasoning through John 15:8.

I. THE OBJECT OF GLORY: Herein is my Father glorified

A. Our aim is to glorify the Father.

B. We should ascribe glory to God alone.

C. It is when believers are fruitful in full cooperation with the Son that the Father is glorified.

II. THE PROCESS OF GLORY: that ye bear

A. Glory does not happen unless we are involved personally.

B. Here is the key to fruitlessness:

1. Glorious Positioning produces fruit.

2. Glorious Cleaning produces fruit.

3. Glorious Abiding produces fruit.

C. The key is abiding rather than knowing what the fruit is.

III. THE PROOF OF GLORY: much fruit

A. A large quantity of Christian fruit declares our glory of the Father.

B. This makes it important to remain at the process of producing the fruit.

C. The Lord wants His fruit ¡V spiritual, abiding fruit.

IV. THE UNDERSTANDING OF GLORY: so shall ye be my disciples.

A. The standard, acceptable practice of Christian discipleship is glorifying the Father.

B. If we will follow Christ, we will glorify the Father.

C. When the Father is glorified we will be glad to have had a part.

Habakkuk 2: 18-20

Verse 20 -- BUT... the Lord is in his holy Temple. [Woe to idolatry.] What profit is the image? (18) There is no breath. (19) But the Lord is in his Temple (20). [I am his Temple!]

The Lord’s presence produces stability.

Idols cannot help the heart. However, God is in his holy Temple. Unlike the idol neither God nor His Temple can be destroyed. Unlike the idol, He has an answer for the complexities and perplexities of life. He hears complaints and cries of people. He strikes down the oppressor.

Verse 20 -- nothing more needs to be said. Romans 12: 19 -- vengeance is His.

Verse 18 -- What profit is the image? Its maker carves it. It is a molded image. It is a teacher of lies. Its mold’s maker trusts in it. It is mute. Profit is the value brought to someone by use of an item. An idol in that day could be used to accumulate wealth. It brought income to carvers, molders, and practitioners. Yet an image was not real. It approximated something to believe in and hence serve. It was carved and overlaid with silver perhaps. It was used to teach lies.

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