AM Serice (11am)
251 THE LILY OF THE VALLEY
Welcome / Announcements
420 I GAVE MY LIFR FOR THEE
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 26:1-9
284 BENEATH THE CROSS OS JESUS
Sermon: Clinging to the Sword - Pastor Mark Sage
Invitation: 481 Just As I Am
PM Service (1pm)
612 SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER
51 ALLELUIA. ALLELUIA
Sermon: Dealing with Stress
Invitation: 498 Whiter than Snow
- CLING TO THE SWORD2 Samuel 23:1-10In here we find the words of life, in this books are found the well of waters that spring up into eternal life, in this book we find comfort, guidance, security, a lifting of our burdens, encouragement in our darkest hours, grace and mercy to spare. We also find judgment, the law, the prophets telling of the what is to come in the future, and what the end times will belike. It also tells us of eternity, it gives us brief glimpses of what that land will be like. This book gives us help in living our lives right now, it can teach us to have character and more than that how to have godly character. I don’t just want character I want godly character.R. A. Torrey said, “Nothing goes further to help one understand the Bible than resolving to obey it!”This morning I hope that you have come resolving to believe it, to follow it, respect it, and obey it.In this book we find everything to secure our souls, to give us happiness, to give us purpose.It is not found outside of this book. People have searched far and wide trying to find peace and contentment, but never finding it until they found this book and the Christ that it preaches.Now in this book we find a short but interesting account of the life of an interesting man.He was one of David’s simple but amazing mighty men mentioned in chapter 23.(2 Samuel 23:9-10) And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.Though he was weary he held on to his sword. This is very important to us. Of course we know what the simple application is for us, the sword is the Word of God, the Bible, and if we will hold on to it, cherish, follow it and obey it, we can have a blessed life on this earth.But there are some things that we have to realize first:I. Clinging to the Sword means you are going to defy manyEleazer and the army had defied the Philistines, there were more of them, they were men of war, mighty men, with out a conscience, and were out take and destroy Israel. Yet they stood up and defied them, even though it seemed the battle was lost.In order to be used for God, and to be blessed of God we are going to have to defy some things here and now.When you became a Christian you were defying some things, you were going against the grain of religion and humanism, your going against the philosophy of man and against social mores to believe in Christ alone for your salvation.A. Many teach that there are no absolutes concerning GodWe are going to be talking about this tonight more, but God is an absolute God, he is a God of absolutes.They say today on the radio and on the television that Fundamentalism in any form is wrong, do you think that is true, tonight come back and I’ll talk more on this subject, but for you to have a victory for God, you are going to have to put your faith in the God of heavenB. Many say that there are various ways to heavenThat religion is good in all of its formsThe common statement you will here today in this world is “As long as your faithful to your beliefs.”Or they will say, as long as one is sincere, God will recognize that as sincerity to him.Listen, another popular thing to say is that it is all the same God, no matter whether you call him God, Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, God is God.But the Bible never said such a blasphemous thing,For you and me to be true to God we be able to stand up and declare him to be God, over all others, as a matter of fact, if you are to believe in God and his Word, he says there are no other gods, they are all made with mans hands, or by his own philosophy.C. Many say it doesn’t matter what you believe about Jesus, so long as you believe in JesusThat sounds nice, but it is heresy – it does matter what you believe about Jesus, that He is the Son of God, equal with God, sinless, our advocate, our redeemer, the only way to heaven.When you stand up for the truths and teachings of the Word of God and believe believe what it says you will even offend so called “Christians.”II. Clinging to the Sword often causes one stand aloneWhen Eleazar went to fight his battle, he noticed that all of a sudden he stood alone everyone else had left.There are three distinct times in a Christians life where he will notice that he stands alone.A. Salvation often causes us to stand aloneThe first one is when we become a Christian, or at least we become a Christian and we start to serve the Lord.People start noticing a change in us, a desire to please God and not the world, a desire to go the way of the Lord, and no longer the way of our friends. You might find yourself standing alone in the battlefield.“I remember when I started to finally serve the Lord as a young Marine, I had about 5 or 6 friends that we were so close to one another that we would do anything for one another, but chose to serve the Lord, and our way quickly parted.”B. Consecration leaves separates us from othersAnother time is when you make a decision of consecrating something for your God, when you give him and area of your life, and tell him, God this is yours, I no longer need it.Your friends call you fanatical, your friends call you crazy, but alls your doing is giving something or an area of your life to the Lord, so that you might be better prepared to be used of him.C. We are usually alone in the midst of the battleThe third way when that you will often find yourself standing alone is in the battle- when you troubles and trials come, the weak of heart flee, when obstacles and impossible circumstances arrive, the cowards run.- You might find yourself standing alone at those times. That’s okay, you know why, it may appear that you are alone, but you are never aloneTeaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.III. Clinging to the sword; even when you are wearyEleazar was out their fighting, he was wielding the sword, he was the only one, and his hand got weary, it got tired.The human body is an amazing thing, it can go to great lengths if it is conditioned right. But at some point, it does tire out, it does begin to give in.But Eleazar had a job to do and he kept wielding the sword until the job was complete and the victory was one.A. There are three types of weariness1. Weariness of body2. Weariness of the Mind3. Weariness of Soul and SpiritThis weariness is to be (disgusted or anxious:--abhor, be distressed, be grieved, loathe, vex, be weary.There is weariness of Family ProblemsAnd Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?There is weariness in constant pressures of lifeThere is weariness in repetitive sinThere is the weariness of effort that seems to be wastedBut ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.B. Combating WearinessA daily renewal.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.A weekly renewalAc 20:7 ¶ And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.This is simply to point out that we need a weekly renewal in church, do you know what church does for me, if oftens helps me to refocus on the things that are important to me and my family, and my God.At church I learn that I’m not always right, that I’m not always on the right track, that I’m not always in God’s perfect will. The Word of God at churches opens up things and challenges me with things, that I may not have received in my own daily devotionsA Periodic renewal – where you get alone with God and you look over the last year or the last quarter and see what needs to be reevaluated in your life.Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.– The context here means to check youself out, but I think that each of us need to it periodically and prayerfully to make sure we where we need to be in our Christian lifeIV. His hand clave to the swordProbably the most important thing about what Eleazar did, was that though he was defying the enemy, was left alone and was weary - he continued to clinging to the sword.He held to that one thing that was most important at that point, his sword, with his sword, he could slay the enemy, protect himself, and ultimately his family and nation.When you hold on to the Bible, you are holding on to Christ, and it His person and His Word that helps us to make it.Most Christians have heard of the David Livingstone, the great missionary in Africa. Less known is his successor, Dan Crawford. Dan Crawford carried a copy of the New Testament in the pocket of his jacket. At the time of his death someone found the following verses penned on the flyleaf of that well-worn Book: "I cannot do it alone! The waves dash fast and high; the fog comes chill around, and the light goes out in the sky. But I know that we two shall win in the end—Jesus and I. Coward and wayward and weak, I change with the changing sky; today so strong and brave, tomorrow too weak to fly. But He never gives up, so we two shall win—Jesus and I!"Though all the world is falling down around you, your hand must clave to the sword at all costs. Then God will have the victory.When the battle was over, and Eleazar lied down or sat down from the weariness, the victory was one, he probably could not let go of that sword. The probably had to pry his fingers off, and even afterwards his hand formed the handle of that sword.When I carry 5 gallons paints or carry something to heavy for a long distance or do my dumbbells at home, the same thing happens.That teaches us one last great truth, his hand formed to the sword, the sword did not form to his hand.You know what we do, we try to get the word of God to fit our lives, we try to find a church that fits our lifestyle, what we need to is make our lives fit the Word of God, this morning, I don’t know you, I know not your background, but today will you fit your life to the Word of God.
“Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.”—Proverbs 4:13
In April of 2011, a line of deadly tornadoes ripped across the state of Alabama, leaving some 250 people dead in its wake. Near Wellington, Alabama, the Hardy family realized the storm was coming too late to find a permanent shelter. They considered trying to take shelter in a metal clubhouse, but it had already been turned on its side by the strong winds. So in desperation, they took shelter in a small stand of trees. They tied a rope around the children and huddled around them in the trees as the storm passed. A family member said that while they had been scratched by flying dirt and debris, none suffered any serious injuries.
Imagine how tightly you would cling to the trees and rope in such a situation. Knowing that your life or the life of your child might depend on your grip would give you all the motivation you needed to hang on with every ounce of power you could muster!
Although there are no warning sirens or news alerts, each of us is living in the path of destructive storms. There are temptations and destructive philosophies abounding around us, and if we do not have a secure place of protection, we will be destroyed.
Because the Word of God is so readily available to us, we often take it for granted rather than treasuring it as the precious resource it is. When you view the Bible as a lifeline designed to keep you safe through the storms of life, you begin to take it more seriously.