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Sermon: Focusing on Souls: The Power of A Personal Testimony


2 Samuel 18:9-18KJV

    2 Samuel 18:9-18
    The Bible is a book of many teachings. Certainly is full of the history of man on earth; the story of redemption; the story of Israel; the early church. It is a book of spiritual wisdom; earthly wisdom and so much more. I teaches us what we need to be today.
    It has good characters and bad. It uses good people as bad examples sometimes, and other times it wil use someone that is a bad example - and teach something good from it. We studied Joab on Wednesday night and we did just that, he was a wicked man that taught us some great lesson.
    Romans 15:4 AV
    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
    Especially in the Old Testament historical books going from the Pentateuch to the Kings, you will find numerous lessons.
    On this day we actually see two things that were left behind by Absalom, the son of king David who was slain in his own rebellion.
    One is the site where he was killed and the other he set up.
    One was what he pictured himself as and one was what others saw him to be.
    Now Absalom was not a great man. In some ways he was somewhat right and honorable, but ultimately ended up rebelling against his own father king David, tried to steal the kingdom away from his father, committed whoredoms with David concubines, then also 20,000 men died in the ensuing battle.
    Yet Absalom had no idea that he was going to be memorialized either way in the Bible, he did not have to erect a pillar in his own honor.
    It has always been the goal of man to leave an imprint on society that he was here and that he was somebody. People are funny, they don’t care how they live, so much as they care as that they are remembered. They live life in that way.
    They don’t care about reality, they only care about the image they project.
    That is why there are very few real people in pop culture today. Whether music industry, tv and movies, sports, social media or politics - most of them care about the image they project far more than truly being something.
    They live in a way that is full of self, self promotion, self gain, and self recognition
    But the image of they project does not always live up to the what they leave behind.
    They say that dead people always want to know what is said about them.
    On television they will often portray a person dyeing, and everyone thinking the person is dead, but in reality they are not. It will show them at their own funeral listening to what people say about them.
    Funny thing is they usually say, oh he looks good, the mortician did a good job, as a matter of fact he looks better now than he did before.
    Absalom died wanting people to remember him for how great a man he was, for his great accomplishments, for his great life. But in reality, Absalom is not remembered for any of those things.
    He wanted those things, he was preoccupied with them because the Bible says he was, in the matter of erecting the pillar, but how will be remembered?
    As a selfish, self-serving, spoiled, kings son, that went out to try to kill his own father.
    Friend, how will you and I be remembered when we depart from this world. What will YOU leave those YOU love?
    Now there is not anything wrong with accomplishing great feats, or achieving success in your field. Christians ought to do their best in their field, but did you know that they are often not the very best, oh they’d like to be known as the best, but a good Christian realizes that his memorial won’t be only about the things at work, but there is whole other part of it, he is leaving something behind about his relationship with the Lord.
    So what is that statement, that legacy that you and I will leave behind for others to follow.
    The fact is that we all leave behind something. We should have a goal of leaving some things behind that is of the highest value - even - everlasting.

    I. Leave something behind to make the path easier for someone else

    Make it easy to traverse
    Proverbs 4:26 AV
    Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

    II. Leave something making the path brighter for those who follow

    John 5:33-35
    Proverbs 4:18 AV
    But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
    This a path that is made to look good to others because you have showed that it can be done
    You have showed that it is a worthy cause
    You have showed that it is a way of happiness
    Philippians 2:15 AV
    That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

    III. Leave something to inspire others to achieve more than you did

    The goal of a great leader is to produce followers who will achieve more than he has.
    Any teacher, could only hope that someday, their student would earnestly grow to someday surpass their own academic achievements
    A Sergeant can only would love to see a young soldier or Marine take the training that he gave him and excel far beyond his own achievements
    A pastor’s greatest success would be to see a convert or church member pastor a church larger and more mature than his own.
    Let each of us work in this life to inspire others to go beyond us spiritually.
    Parent, you have children in your home, it should be your hope that your children’s faith would be stronger and surpass your own faith someday – then start setting example today to inspire them to do just that.

    IV. Leave something behind that speaks honor to your name

    Proverbs 22:1 AV
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
    My family has not had a good name where I grew up, most of my uncles are drunkards, but I have a chance to leave a good name for my children, to leave something behind for them
    I have a chance also, wearing the name Christian, to leave behind a name as well.
    I want to leave a good name for the Lord – the Bible says in
    Titus 2:10 AV
    Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

    V. Leave something behind that encourages others to complete the task

    2 Timothy 4:7 AV
    I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
    We don’t have a lot of finishers anymore.
    People come to church for awhile, life gets hard on them and then they quit on God
    Or they will get a ministry for awhile and they’ll get tired or bored and quit, neither of these things are wise.
    We need to get people that are going to have some sticktoitiveness.
    I love going back to my home church in Ohio because there are some men in that church that have been there since its inception.
    They are still deacons, still trustees, still working in the bus barn, still serving the Lord.
    o They are not men who you here of in the services, some are awkward men, some are quiet men, but I love them all because they are finishers, not quitting.
    o You know what they have done for me, they have given me a reason not to quit

    VI. Leave something behind that tells the world what you thought was really important

    Matthew 6:21 AV
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    Something is wrong when you die of old age, and people say of you, “Oh she was great, she really loved gardening.” – Now there is nothing wrong with gardening, but if that is the first thing people say there is something wrong.
    Now you might die someday, and people will say you liked sports, or that you liked cars, or that you like decorating, but won’t they something greater than those things:
    How about things like
    o She cared for people
    o He loved helping others
    o He lived a life that was sacrificial
    o She would give you anything if you were in needing
    o He taught young people, she mentored them
    May each of us tell others people with our lives that those were the important things
    But the most important things should that they would see Jesus in us, may they see that the things of the God were our reason for living
    o That you lived a life consecration to him
    o That you lived to bring him all honor and glory and not for yourself
    o That you gave, served, labored, witnessed, not because you had to, but because of your devotion to God.

    VII. Leave something behind that assures others as to where you will spend eternity

    Matthew 5:16 AV
    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    When you and I die their ought to be evidence enough to those that are around us that we had obtained salvation, that our souls are secure in heaven.
    Will they be able to say that about you.
    Most of you know that I have two fathers that died. One was murdered when I was five, the other died of a heart attack when I was 13. It is good to know that someday I will see my step dad, Don Hall in heaven. He was only with my family a seven years, and sometimes I regret not remembering him enough, but it is good to know that I will see him again in heaven. Why?
    He left something behind, that I would know that he was there.
    - He confessed his salvation
    - He showed some good works in his life, there was evidence of saving grace in his life.
    My other father, my real father who was murdered when I was 5, we can only hope that he is in heaven. There was no clear assurance that he will be there. My grandma says, yes he was a Christian, but my Aunts say he was not. But no one can tell me that he made a confession of faith in Christ, no one can show me fruits and evidence of salvation.
    That is a sorry thing to leave behind for family, friends, and loved ones, to give them now assurance that you were a Christian and then to die, leaving little or no hope of seeing you in heave again.
What are Fathers Made Of?

by Paul Harvey

A father is a thing that is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic.

A father is a thing that growls when it feels good--and laughs very loud when it's scared half to death.

A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's eyes. He's never quite the hero his daughter thinks, never quite the man his son believes him to be--and this worries him, sometimes. So he works too hard to try and smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.

A father is a thing that gets very angry when the first school grades aren't as good as he thinks they should be. He scolds his son though he knows it's the teacher's fault. Fathers are what give daughters away to other men who aren't nearly good enough so they can have grandchildren who are smarter than anybody's .

Fathers make bets with insurance companies about who'll live the longest. Though they know the odds, they keep right on betting. And one day they lose.

I don't know where fathers go when they die. But I've an idea that after a good rest, wherever it is, he won't be happy unless there's work to do. He won't just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he's loved and the children she bore. He'll be busy there, too, repairing the stairs, oiling the gates, improving the streets, smoothing the way.

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