Summary: a look at the risk of not giving of ourselves to help others in need.
Tempting the Lord through disobedience
2 Kings 12: 3 But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
Story of Boy with fishes and loaves
- sent boy on errand
- packed a lunch
- would be gone most of the day
- held up in a traffic jam
- lots of people
- couldn’t quite see what was going on.
- Struggled to front to see.
- Found a man teaching
- Heard murmuring of hunger
- The teacher did too
- Sent one of his aides to find food
- Found the boy,
- Boy thought that giving what he had wouldn’t be much, but at least he could help.
- Gave his five loaves and two fishes.
I. Giving even though it will hurt.
a. This boy gave up his lunch, all he had for food that day.
b. May not have understood the significance of what he did.
c. He made a sacrifice, but gained in the long run.
d. Old testament sacrifices
1. his reputation
2. his time and energy
3. his skills and resources
1. his son
2. his only son, the Lord had promised seed as numerous as the stars, or sands of the sea.
3. His own ambitions for the Lord
1. his own ambitions, and pride
2. his own strength to lean on the Lord and lead the children of Israel.
iv. How easy it would have been for any one of these to say no and continue with their own comfortable lives.
e. Psalm 78 gives a history lesson, times of Israel turning to God, and times of Israel turning away from God.
i. 18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
ii. 31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. 32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. 33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.
iii. 34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. 35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.
iv. 36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. 37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. 38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. 39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. 40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
v. 41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
f. How many times have we heard of people, the nation of Israel, or loved ones who God wanted to deliver, heal, provide for, etc. but would not make the sacrifice fully that was asked for?
II. The sacrifice of God (even this sacrifice hurt).
i. Gave up His place in heaven
ii. Took on the full likeness of man.
iii. Suffered and died at the hands of man.
b. God made the supreme sacrifice to help others but we flinch when the thought of helping others crosses our minds.
III. The cost of our sacrifice.
a. Being a Christian is interesting
i. A lot of rewards
ii. Many blessings.
iii. See wonderful things happen.
iv. Comfortable in our spot on the pew at church.
v. It’s all about me.
b. It’s good to be a Christian when it is convenient, but don’t offer any challenges, we can’t handle them.
i. Christianity is cool when it benefits us.
ii. Christianity is a awful when we have to benefit or help someone else.
c. But the sacrifice is for a good cause and so we should all support it right?
i. Telecom. Calls- seeking to raise money to help needy people at holiday times,- compassion international, to feed starving children, etc. How often do we say “sorry, not at this time”, and hang up?
ii. How often are real needs, right here at home brought before us, but we “can’t” afford it.
d. Unfortunately, we keep missing the mark.
i. In the interest of making sure that our all of our own bills get paid we neglect our responsibilities to others.
1. am I saying we shouldn’t pay our bills?