Summary: A challenge to all Christians to live lives full entrusted to our Almighty God
Talk 1 : Living in Liberty - The Beginning Place
1. Introduction :
a. Theme : Saved to Serve. Being a Christian is a joyful and purposeful life, the reason for being left on earth by our Saviour and Master – John 17: 15, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but …”, primarily we are left here for the benefits of others. This is to be expressed by unselfish, undying, impartial and consistent Christian Service – characterized by love. We will look at this Christian Service over the next two days at four different angles.
Before we look at how we could and should serve one another (and the unbelievers), let’s look at Judges 6 – Jehovah Shalom, which I have entitled the Beginning Place.
b. Jehovah Shalom – Peace, God is Peace or the Peace of God is a message that has so forcefully gripped my heart when I first came to it. I am not sure how it will change you , but I know it has been changing me by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Opening Prayer : Serve an Awesome God and deal with this awesome God. Peace in serving You and another.
3. Read Judges 6:1-6, 19-24.
4. God uses His Name as a progressive revelation of His Character. Exo. 6 :2-3. Through the OT, God progressively reveal His Names. Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Jireh, etc. Why? Psalm 124:8, ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord’, Psalm 91:14b ‘I will protect/deliver him because he knows my Name, Isaiah 50:10 ‘Trust in the Name of the Lord and rely on his God’. Knowing the Name of the Lord is so vital. Today we are looking at one, Jehovah Shalom.
5. Shalom :
Noun : wellness, complete, to be made whole, in harmony with God and men, at ease not restless, peace inwards outwards
Verb : complete, finish,
Adjective : perfect.
But we cannot appreciate what Jehovah Shalom really means until we appreciate the context in which it was revealed to Gideon. Given to one man in crisis.
6. To understand the background or context, Judges 1 : 2, “ I will deliver this into your hand” I have already promised you victory ( Exodus/Leviticus/Deutronomy), if you obey me , I demand TOTAL Conquest on your part, no compromise, no treaty, no peace agreement, no co-existence, no intermarrying, no absolutely nothing to do with them, but total utter destruction, total defeat and total conquest. If you try to enslave them, they will turn to be your master. The repeated failure of the Israelites was NO TOTAL CONQUEST, compromise, make treaties, no utter cleansing.
7. But read Judges 1:27-33. There was NO utter destruction, they compromise , they try to out borders and say up to here and no more. That’s where many Christians do today, they try to put borders for their sins and say I can and will sin to this extent and no more, after all why can’t I enjoy a bit of fun. They try to put limits, try to put channels. We will go so far and no further. But God said utter destruction of anything in your life that’s unlike Christ. No trying to channel around it, you cannot channel sins, it will always spill over. You got it? It always spills over.
8. We come to these sad words, Judges 1:30, subject the Canaanites to tribute/labour, God command was : to cleanse yourself of all filth, perfecting holiness unto the Lord. God promise that if you were to wage war against every sin that is contrary to Christ, I will be with you , I will go up with you. BUT we say to ourselves, ‘As long as it does not control me’, it won’t be long before you lose control.
9. Bros & Sisters, this is the new generation after Moses, they had promised Joshua we will go God’s way. Joshua said cleanse yourself of all idols and filth, yet they carry the idols with them and live a double life. God was so gracious and always send prophets to them . Judges 2:1-4, These words are not only for the compromising Israelites but for the church of Jesus Christ today. Pleading with them. Remove everything that hinders the fullness of Christ, yet you keep hiding the secret sins from me, as though I do not know. That idolatry can be anything, materialism, greed, sports, indulgence of all sorts including ‘Food’, 5 hours on TV and not one hour with God. Material enjoyment. Utter destruction of anything that can rob you of power to stand against the enemy.
10. So first the utter destruction of all things that is contrary to Christ and His Holiness. Malachi 2:13-14
11. Entire book of Judges is a very sad story, every man does what is right in his own eyes. The story of our times, a church filled with believers who refuse to forsake sin, with an apathy towards sins. No outrage against sins and all that defile the Lord and His Church. His Precious Body.