Sermons

Summary: God calls us to a life of persistence for Him

The Power of Persistence

Luke 18.1-8

September 7, 1997

Morning Service

Introduction

I. The story of John Wycliffe: The first key leader in producing an English Bible, translated the Bible into English rather than Latin, done from Greek and Hebrew and was considered a traitor to the church, even under intense scrutiny and persecution Wycliffe stayed with the task and was persistent, he was burned at the stake and his ashes were scattered in the Thames river, enemies shouted Wycliffe is gone, his influence stays with us still

II. Persistence pays off: Popular sayings on persistence, When the going gets tough the tough get going, no pain no gain, it gets hard to live by such sayings when our strength is gone, we all go through tough times and how we handle them reveals the nature of our character, nature of our faith,

III. Life is a constant battle: we must continue in the struggle each and every day, powerful attitude is needed to keep moving, John Wycliffe had an undying persistence and we are indebted to him, Jesus had an undying persistence and we owe Him for eternity, Jesus gave us a model for persistence

Body

I. The Pleading Widow

A. The judge was unjust: Not a part of the Hebrew system, System of elders and priests decided Jewish disputes, No regard for God or person, Most likely Roman judge - Non Romans rarely received justice, total disregard for Jewish people and beliefs, this reveals the nature of both heart and soul

B. The widow is persistent: Widow is seeking justice, situation is unknown and does not matter, Jewish system failed her, only hope is the Romans, there is an adversary in the matter, justice must be over them, she does not take no for an answer, she continues to seek justice,

II. The Judge gives Justice

A. The judge wears out: The widow does not give up, the judge caves into the woman, he states that he has no regard for her, he reveals his pagan attitude with no regard for God, the judge was selfish in his justice, he does so in self centered manner, he did not care about the widow but his reputation, he wanted to save face

B. Justice is received: widow constantly an consistently pursues the judge, perhaps on a daily basis, she hammers away at the judge until she receives justice, her persistence pays off, even with an unjust judge,

III. God’s Personal Work

A. God hears His people: God is not like the judge, He is just and righteous, He will hear His people when they call, God is long suffering with His people, He who was faithful to slaves in Egypt, to a boy against a giant, to the captives in Babylon, God hears the cries of His people and the prayers of the righteous, He knows His people and comes in times of need and distress,

B. God will give justice: God is the truly righteous judge, He will give justice to His people, He has given justification by grace through Jesus, He who cares will reward the righteous, He is the just judge

Application

I. We must be persistent

A. This world is not fair: Children cry: That’s not fair, Life is not fair - We live in a fallen world that is wicked, there is no justice in this world, Jesus was tried and crucified unjustly, we can expect more of the same injustice, our lives are to be a testament to God’s love and mercy, we will go through difficulties and hardships, this world will be against us and try to stop the message of the gospel,

B. We must persist with God in prayer: Persistence is key to life: We must keep the right attitude toward life and toward God, live with strength and courage, persist in living for God, prayer is the source to tap the strength of God, it builds the essential relationship,

II. We will see a New Justice

A. This world will wear out: As hard as this world tries the gospel will go on, the Christian message will not die, through persecution and problems it will still prevail, it hasn’t been stamped out in nearly 2000 years, it won’t go away, this world will wear out before God will and the gospel will triumph, we will be victorious over this world,

B. Justice will be ours: Jesus will vindicate His people, He is the great and righteous judge, He will sit over the world and pronounce judgment, we will have a divine justice that this world can not give, our reward is in Christ

III. God is Still at Work

A. God is working on our behalf: God is our protector and provider, He will win the victory for us, if God is for us who can be against us?, God is our champion and He fights our battles, He will win and He will vindicate us, this world may try to stop us and drag us down but we have victory in Jesus,

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Peter Clark

commented on Oct 15, 2013

It is a shame that this excellent sermon is spoiled by starting with inaccuracies. John Wycliffe died in 1384 of a stroke. After having been declared a heretic in 1416, his remains were disinterred and burned in 1428, his ashes being cast upon the River Swift.

Greg Lester

commented on May 21, 2015

So glad that you have never been inaccurate in anything in your perfectionist life. So lucky are we that we have an Illustration detective to correct the misinformation.

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