Sermons

Summary: As we obey God’s Word in faith we must embrace our destiny. To embrace your destiny means to deny yourself and follow Jesus.

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“The Dedication of Faith”

Hebrews 11:23-29

January 18, 2009

Pastor John L. Harper

Warden Assembly of God

Introduction:

WHERE’S YOUR FAITH? Television interviewer and journalist Larry King describes three farmers who gather daily in a field during a horrible drought. The men are down on their knees, looking upward, and praying the skies will open and pour forth a much-needed rain. Unfortunately, the heavens are silent, and the petitioners become discouraged, but they continue to meet every morning to lift up their request to God. One morning an uninvited stranger approaches and asks the men what they are doing. They respond, "We’re praying for rain." The newcomer looks at each of them and shakes his head, "No, I don’t think so." The first farmer says, "Of course we’re praying. We are down on our knees pleading for rain. Look around; see the drought. We haven’t had rain in more than a year!" The outsider continues to nod his head and advises them their efforts will never work. The second farmer jumps in and says, "We need the rain; we aren’t asking only for ourselves, but for our families and livestock." The man listens, nods, and says he still isn’t impressed. "You’re wasting your time," he says. The third farmer can’t take any more, and in anger he says, "Okay, what would you do if you were in our shoes?" The visitor asks, "You really want to know?" The three landowners answer, "We really want to know! The future of our farmlands is at stake." The guest announces, "I would have brought an umbrella!" SOURCE: Praying in Faith, Citation: Larry King, Powerful Prayers (Renaissance Books, 1998), p. 243.

Contributed by: A. Todd Coget

I. THE DESTINY OF CHOICE (vs. 23-25)

A. He was hidden in the house

1. His parents hid him when he was born.

2. He was three months old.

3. They were not afraid of the king’s command

B. He was heir to privilege

1. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter

2. He chose to suffer affliction

a. with the people of God

b. than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season

C. He was happy to be with the people of God

Application: Have you made the choice to embrace your God given destiny?

II. THE DENIAL OF PRIVILEGE (vs. 26-27)

A. The esteeming of the reproach

1. He considered suffering for Christ greater than wealth

2. He considered suffering for Christ greater than all the treasures in Egypt

3. He looked to the reward for suffering the reproach of Christ

B. The endurance of faith

1. He forsook Egypt

2. He did not fear the wrath of the king

3. He endured as seeing Him who is invisible

Application: Have you denied yourself immediate satisfaction so that you might enjoy eternal

bliss?

III. THE DEDICATION TO GOD’S WORD (vs. 28-29)

A. The consecration to Passover

1. He feared the one who destroyed the firstborn

2. He sprinkled the blood on the door post

B. The crossing of the Red Sea

1. They walked on dry land through the Red Sea

2. The Egyptians followed them

3. The Egyptians were drowned

Application: Have you dedicated yourself to obeying God’s Word?

CONCLUSION:

In a letter from Mils and Sandy Becker, April, 1995. “In the 1920’s Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and believers. In Stavropol, this order was carried out completely. Thousands of Bibles were taken and believers were sent to the gulags, where so many died for being enemies of the state. Last year (1994), a Commission team was sent to Stavropol. They didn’t know about the history of the city at that time. But when the team had difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow, someone mentioned that they knew a warehouse existed outside of time, where these Bibles had been stored since Stalin’s time. “The team prayed together and one member had the courage to go to the warehouse and ask the officials if the Bibles could be removed and distributed again to the people in Stavropol. The answer was “yes”. The next day the Commissioners returned with a truck and several Russians to help load the Bibles. One helper was a young man- a skeptical, hostile, agnostic university student who came only for the day’s wages. As they loaded the Bibles one man noticed that the student had disappeared. Finally, they found him in a corner of the warehouse weeping. He had slipped away, hoping to quietly take a Bible for himself. What he found pierced him deeply. The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It was her personal Bible. Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in that warehouse, he stole the one that belonged to his grandmother- a woman persecuted for her faith all her life.

Contributed by: Jeff Simms


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