Summary: To develop a more finely-tuned attitude toward hardships and to develop a plan that will help to regularly grow through events that stretch us

1. Title: What To Do With a Bum Knee

2. Text: Hebrews 12:4-13 (12:3-29)

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd. September 17, 2006, in the series “Nothing Better Than The Best”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand how difficulties are used by God for our good; what a right response to hardship looks like;

-for the people to feel comforted that hardship is not unique to them, that they can benefit from it and that it can be used by God for good things

-for the people to look upon their current and future hardships with this right perspective and learn to appreciate the good that they produce in life

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to have a more finely-tuned attitude toward hardships and to develop a plan that will help them to regularly grow through events that stretch them

6. Type: expository

7. Dominant Thought: God uses hardship to shape people into strong children of the King

8. Outline:

Intro: Chester Goode had a bum knee. I know he did, because every time he came running from off-screen, yelling ,” Mr. Dillon! Mr. Dillon!” he limped real badly. It was his trademark. But, hey, when you’re Matt Dillon’s sidekick, you can have a bum knee and still be a pretty good guy.

Chester was actually Dennis Weaver, who not only was a famous actor who died this year, but who also used to attend here at Villa Heights when he was a boy. So, when I started thinking about someone with a bum knee, I got this mental picture of old Chester Goode.

A wise man once told me, “Most everyone I’ve known in life has some setback that they have to deal with. Everyone.” Life has confirmed that to me. Whether it’s a traumatic experience, some injustice that has happened, a physical disability - maybe even a bum knee - you’re going to have some kind of hardship to deal with – whether it’s lifelong or an event. Life is going to hand you your bum knee.

In the case of the people receiving the letter we call Hebrews, there was something that was happening to them just because they were followers of Jesus. We don’t know the exact nature of it. We do know that it was as bad as having their property taken from them, being publicly insulted and persecuted, and even imprisoned. (Ch 10)

Bum knee. At least, some of them were left limping from it. So, in the 12th chapter of this letter, the writer gives them some help in dealing with it. The message to them, and to us today, centers around one word: discipline.

What was happening to them wasn’t without meaning. It was discipline. To understand the bum knees of life, we have to understand that they are used by God as discipline.

Discipline is like communication. It has two ends – the dispensing end and the receiving end. There’s the person who dispenses it, and for it to work that has to be done correctly. Parents have to love their kids first, and discipline has to come from that to succeed. The reason the supposed experts of our time have failed to understand this is because they don’t understand how discipline is the loving thing to do. It is. If you wonder where I got such a crazy idea, take a concordance or a Bible search program and look up the word “discipline.” It’s not some foreign concept. Rightly given, its basis is love, and its goal is the good of the person receiving it.

Yeah, I was spanked as a kid. If you insist, OK, I’m an example of what a warped adult a spanked child will become. My dad, as I recall, was very adept at that after 5 kids before me. I was “raised and reared.” But what I remember about being disciplined isn’t the spankings themselves. It’s the fact that my dad loved me. No, I didn’t believe the old, “This hurts me more than it hurts you” line at the time, but I certainly have grown to understand that better. Discipline has to be controlled by and dispensed with love. If you’re a parent, you need to get that straight, or else discipline won’t work.

Now, the other end of that, the receiving end, if you will, has to be done correctly too. If not, discipline won’t work. Discipline has to be given correctly, and it has to be received correctly.

The chapter of Hebrews we look at this morning deals with both ends of it. Bum knees in life are going to happen. It doesn’t even have to be for punishment, because that’s not all that discipline is for. What these readers had to do and what we have to do is decide how we’ll respond to it. So, let’s jump into the middle of this text, and consider the way to handle it.

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