First Baptist Church of Minneola
Getting the Greatest
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
- Dedicated to the Lord, Caleb is unlike most of us.Read Joshua 14:6-14Caleb is one of two spies who gave a good report of the Holy Land.After 45 years, Caleb remains a man of faith who makes a request for the land of Canaan.READ focus verse; Caleb’s request:Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”PRAY2 Things about Caleb’s request.Difficulties with the RequestGeographical Matters“hill country”Canaan is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Desert. Its highest point is Mt. Hermon which is 9,000 feet above sea level. Its lowest point is the Dead Sea which is the lowest on Earth at about 1,300 feet below sea level.“hill country” is better translated, at least for us Florida folks, as “mountain” such as translated in the KJV.Caleb is not asking for a “ready to plow” smooth farmland. He is asking for the diverse geographical area where Hebron is located.This geographical diversity speaks of difficulty.If we hope to do great things for God, we must accept our task will come with difficulties.ILL - FBC Minneola owns a dated property. 60 plus years of wear and tear show its age.The building needs paint and a new roof.Most other area churches are newer and nicer. Most folks will check them out before coming to FBC Minneola.We a mostly older folks, few in number, and don’t even have a music leader.Our part to be a church is not an easy one.If we expect to serve our God, be the church, we must be willing to take on the mountain.Smooth, flat, land is easy to work. Everyone likes it easier.High hills and deep valleys are difficult to work and require lots more effort, more courage, more strength to work.Most people don’t even consider the difficult tasks, but opt for the easier ones.If you hope to get a Hebron type blessing, be ready to overcome the difficult tasks.TRANS - A tough geographic condition, what’s next?Giant Men“Anakim were there”The Anakims were giants. Caleb wants to conquer giants. If you are going to do much for God, get ready to conquer giants.ILL - Let me remind you of some of our conquered giants.overcome by bills; mortgage paidtrouble reaching Millennials; God sent AVIVANo music people; learned to use technologyRoof needed repairs; Covenant Roofing sent a crewBuilding needs painting; Joel happens to own a painting businessWanting to learn Jesus’ teaching; Faithlife opens new and interesting way to learnGiants of all sorts meet there match when the Lord is our God.Typical people are afraid of giants. Not Caleb; he is ready to “take them down.”See, the Lord is Caleb’s God.If you want a Hebron-type blessing, you will need to take down some giants.Guarded Boundaries“great fortified cities”Caleb conquered fenced, or walled, cities.The walls were guarded.BAK - In Caleb’s day, the city walls were a security feature. The community felt safe behind fortified walls.ILL - Do you come across walls? How about the wall of opposition? That one seems pretty big and well-manned.The wall of opposition is teaching our youth the lies of evolution. The wall of opposition is teaching babies are not always a blessing; the Bible says children are a blessing. The wall of opposition says, “Make your choice to do what you want with your time and don’t spend it in church service.”Lot’s of opposition in our world. Lot’s of walls to church growth.If you and I expect to see this church grow, we must confront opposition, charge walls, as part of our task.TRANS - Caleb faced the difficulties of geography, giants, and guards. We noted similarities we face requesting God to grow His church.Let’s shift now to consider what Caleb knew about how God does work to achieve His desired outcome.Deity with the SolutionsWhat do you think of Caleb’s faith?He trusted God to do what caused others to run from with tails between their legs like a frightened puppy.Caleb faced all we just discussed with faith; real, proven faith.Let’s consider three of God’s attributes that caused Caleb to demonstrate faith.God fully Present“The Lord will be with me”Caleb was happy to tell us God is with him.ILL - Ever spend time with someone who is afraid? In my observation, as people face their own forthcoming death, they come to terms with their fear.Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the thought of dying is frightening. I mean, I haven’t done it yet and I don’t know exactly what to expect. The unknown is a bit scary.But, once over that initial stage, I also know, its gonna be great. I mean, no pain, no fear, no sin, and in the full presence of Jesus. Sounds pretty good to me.But you say, “What of right now?” and “Where is God now?”Caleb you see knows God is with him right here and now.People of faith have God in their presence, and God’s presence means great blessings.God frightfully Powerful“I will dive them out”Need power to do something great for God.Caleb knows God will give him the power to overcome.The giants are nothing to a supercharged man of God.What looks too hard for man looks like an opportunity to the man or women of faith.God fulfills Promises“As the Lord has spoken”Caleb trusted in what God promised.You can trust God to do what He promises.ILL - I got a kick out of a recent comic. The illustrator drew up a fill-in-the-blank poster board. It had a place for the running politicians name and beneath it your choice of political party. Beneath all of that it stated lots of promises never to be fulfilled.Not so with God. God is trustworthy and always fulfills His promises. That is why Caleb says, “As the Lord has spoken.” Caleb places faith in what God promises.As you and I place faith in what God says in the Bible, we will have success in His sight.Recall how Hebrews explains the type of faith Caleb demonstrates?:Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.Caleb knew God was present, powerful, and always fulfills His promises.TRANS - Difficulties meet their match in our Deity.Let’s wrap up our time.ConclusionWhat did Caleb get out of this?:Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.Caleb asked for, and got, the greatest from God.So, are you afraid of giants?Do you think God only wants you to get His smallest blessing?God blesses big those who serve Him best.God sent the Holy Spirit.That is His presence.God says “you can do all things”That is His power.God says I grow the church.That is a His promise.If faith, we will move mountains what can a mere giant do against that?(end)
- I Surrender All
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