What On Earth
Are You Going To Do With Yourself?

 

  Text:   Mt. 6:10 – “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

    Aim:   To get God’s people to obey God.

Introduction:

There is a game that children used to play when I was growing up called “Simon Says.”

The game is played where one person gives a series of commands, which are preceded by the words “Simon Says.” Accordingly to the game, the other children are supposed to do everything that “Simon Says,” but if a command is given that is not preceded by the words “Simon Says,” then the players are not to obey that command. The object is to increase the speed of giving the commands, which are preceded by “Simon says,” such as Simon says to touch your nose, etc., then to slip in a command that is NOT given by Simon. Every time a command is executed properly the child may advance a step towards a goal line. The first one across gets to call the commands. IF the child obeys a command that is not given by Simon, they have erred and have to take a step back.

 

As God’s children, if you want to succeed in life, if you want to advance your life, which brings the Creator glory, you need to obey the commands that are given—NOT by Simon, but by the Saviour.

 

An uninvited player in this serious game of life is a fellow named Lucifer. He constantly tries to “throw in a command here and there to trip us up and get us disqualified. It should go without saying that we are definitely NOT to obey commands given by Satan. Every time we do, our forward progress in our walk with God is halted and often we backslide from any advances we have already made.

 

For this message, we re going to play a game, only it’s not really a game; it is real life.

We’ll call it, “Satan says;” and “the Saviour says.” Remember, we only move forward when the “Saviour says.” DON’T LISTEN to the voice of Satan; LISTEN to the voice of God.

We Want To Be Sure To Do God’s Will — Not Satan’s.

I.          Some of the things SATAN SAYS;

A.       Satan says, FRET THYSELF.
God says in Psalms 37:1 –
“Fret not thyself”

1.        FRET – literally: “to be hot, furious, burning with angry, it is to worry, to have the heart-burn — God does not want us to get heated up in annoyance envying the wicked.

2.        Three times the word fret is used in this Psalm. Firstly it is found in:

a.        Vs. 1 – Fret not against evildoers, against the workers of iniquity – The prosperity of the ungodly is unsure and definitely not permanent. >> See vs. 2

1)        I think this also can apply to those who make more money than us, or who get a rise in pay when we don’t, and who get a promotion that we think we deserve.
2)        We ought to let our souls feed upon the faithfulness of our God to do right by us >> see vs. 3.
3)        The antidote to envious discontent is patient trust and persistent well-doing on our part.

b.        Vs. 7 – Fret not because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. They will eventually get justice and what they truly deserve.

c.         Vs. 8 – Fret not – in any wise to do evil. “Never do wrong in order to do right.”

3.        Fretting or discontent in not only foolish and useless, BUT dangerous, as it may well lead to evil-doing.

a.        When we look around us we see the world full of evil-doers, that flourish and live in ease, we are tempted to fret at this, to think that they are the only happy people, and so we are prone to do like them: but we are warned against thinking like this.

b.        When we look forward, with an eye of faith, we shall see no reason to envy the wicked.

c.         Those loyal to the Saviour must not copy the tricks of the lawless.

B.       Satan says, JOIN THYSELF – 2 Chronicles 20:35-37

1.        Here we have the brief account of Jehoshaphat’s trading venture with Ahaziah, the king of Israel.

a.        Do we know what the ships were going for? 1 Kgs. 22:48 tells us they were going for GOLD.

b.        But it was not for wealth that God destroyed Jehoshaphat’s plans, it was that he compromised and was JOINED himself to Ahaziah.

2.        Ahaziah was an idolatrous prince, with whom Jehoshaphat should not ever have had any fellowship—even in civil things. To do so, was both an approval of him, and an exposure of Jehoshaphat and the people he ruled to danger.

3.        The word joined in vs. 36 has an interesting twist to Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahaziah when we learn of some more background to this story.

4.        In 1 Kgs. 22:49 we see that Ahaziah was Ahab’s son.

a.        Jehoshaphat was related to Ahab by marriage >> SEE 2 Chron. 18:1.
The word affinity in this verse has to do with IN-LAWS.

b.        Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram had married Athaliah, wicked Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter (2 Chron. 21:6; 22:2b) who were worse than Ahaziah.

c.         Nonetheless, Jehoshaphat went down (1 Kgs. 22:2) and made an alliance with Ahab which was prophesied by Micaiah to doom, but was ballyhooed as a success by the false prophets of Ahab >> SEE 2 Chron. 18:18-22.

5.        MARK IT DOWN – Any enticement to disobey God comes from a lying spirit.

6.        Jehoshaphat makes it home safe from this disastrous battle and is promptly rebuked by God’s prophet Jehu >> SEE 2 Chron. 19:2.

Satan says, “JOIN THYSELF!”— GOD, on the other hand, says, “WITHDRAW THYSELF!”

1 Timothy 6:5 tells us of “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, and warns us, from such withdraw thyself.”

C.       Satan says, TAKE THE GOODS TO THYSELF >> Genesis 14:21

1.        Practically, what the king of Sodom was saying was – “Go for the gold; Live for material things. The goods you acquired are from the spoils of battle—you deserve them!”

2.        The word for “goods” included all the substance and possession of a man, gold, silver, cattle, and all transportable items.

3.        Abram generously refused this offer SEE >> Gen. 14:22-24. He accompanies his refusal with a good reason, “Lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich,” which would reflect upon the promise and covenant of God, making it appear as if God could not have enriched Abraham without the spoils of Sodom.

4.        If you know anything about the life of Abraham you might remember that God had promised to bless Abram in Genesis 12, and to make him rich and great, as He by this time had begun to do, and still would do more and more.

5.        The phrase “I have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord” (vs. 22) was both a gesture of praying and of swearing, and both may be intended here.

a.        When Abram set out on his expedition, it is very probable he prayed to God for success, and swore that if He prospered him, that he would receive no profit or advantage from it to himself.

b.        If Abram would now take any goods in the presence of Melchizedek he would have violated these promises.

6.        The people of God MUST, for their own sake, beware of doing any thing that looks mean or mercenary (doing things for personal gain), or that smacks of covetousness and self-seeking.

Abraham new he could trust the Possessor of Heaven and earth to provide for him.

—The question is CAN YOU?

Satan always offers us what is good as a substitute for God’s best.

D.       Satan says, AVENGE THYSELF.

1.        When you are wronged, Satan wants you to get even.

2.        He wants you to get down on his level and to those that have wronged you.

God says in

Leviticus 19:18 – “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge again the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”

Romans 12:19 – “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written.”

Deut. 32:35 – “’Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’”

E.       Satan says, ABUSE THYSELF; HARM THYSELF & OTHERS – 1 Cor. 6:9, 10

God says to do thyself no harm. – Vs. 15a, 18.

In Acts 16:27 when the keeper of the prison where Paul was held a prisoner, awoke “out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice” in vs. 28, saying, “Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.”

I.          Now, Let’s Look At Some Things God Says:

A.       God says, PRESENT THYSELF.

He told Moses to do this.

Exodus 34:2 – And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.

1.        There are those who profess Christ who refuse to present themselves for baptism and church membership.

2.        There are also church members who fail to be faithfully present in the assembly or who become lazy excusing themselves from church, as they are tired.

a.        What is interesting is that no matter how tired they are they seem to be able to go back to work.

b.        If one didn’t know better you would think they were putting work ahead of God. There should be time for every that is important.

c.         But nonetheless, excuses are given: “The services start too early or too late,” “It’s hard to get all the children to get ready,” “travelling to each service is too far,” there is nothing for the children,” “it’s too long,” etc.

d.       My friends, attendance at church is commanded by the Lord in Heb. 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.”

3.        While on the subject of presentation, What if you knew you were to meet God in person the next time you attended church, how would you dress? Would you be careless about you appearance as you presented yourself to your Creator Lord?

B.       God says, BEHAVE THYSELF.

1 Timothy 3:15 – But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

C.       God says, EXERCISE THYSELF.

1 Timothy 4:7 –But refuse profane and old wives fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

1.        Exercise takes discipline that is why there are few great athletes.
Perhaps that is why there aren’t more godly Christians?

2.        You and you alone have to exercise for yourself in the area of holiness.
No one else can do it for you.

D.       God says, HUMBLE THYSELF.

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Satan prefers we be obstinate, stiff-necked and rebellious to the will of God.

Exodus 10:3 – And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.

1Sam. 15:23 – “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…”

E.       God says, GIVE THYSELF.

Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

1 Timothy 4:15 – Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

F.        God says, TAKE HEED TO YOURSELF LEST YOU MESS YOURSELF UP.

1Tim. 4:16 – “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

Exodus 34:12 – Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee.

1.        Again, see the contrast:

a.        Satan is saying, “Ensnare yourself.” Be aware he has laid a trap for you.
He designed it with you in mind.

b.        Satan is saying, “Entangle yourself.” God says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, (carefully) not as fools, but as wise” (Eph 5:15).

2.        God says 2 Timothy 2:4 – “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

a.        It seems that Satan doesn’t have to tie us up; all he has to do is hand us the rope.

b.        Some people can’t serve God because they are all tied up in things that God never intended them to be involved with in the first place.

G.       Another thing God says is “BESTIR THYSELF” – 2 Samuel 5:22-24

1.        In the Hebrew, the word bestir in this context means “to decide, to determine, to move, be decisive.

2.        2 Timothy 1:6 – Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee.

3.        In the Greeks the word stir means “to kindle up, inflame one’s mind, strength, zeal.

4.        What qualifies men for the ministry, it is not anything natural in them, nor acquired by them, but what is given unto them, and that from God.

5.        The gifts needed for the ministry

a.        Timothy’s gifts were “in” him, NOT on him, i.e. continued with him.

b.        His gifts were not lost by him, nor taken from him, as gifts may be.

c.         Timothy’s gifts were being neglected and NOT put to use. For some reason his exercise of them was in some decline, some backwardness and indifference as to the exercise of them in Timothy’s life.

d.       He might have been too careless, negligent, or forgetful of this. For this reason, the Apostle Paul puts him in mind to “stir” it up.

6.        There is in the word stir a metaphor taken from coals of fire covered with ashes. When the fire had grown cold and the coals were almost gone out, they needed to shaken and blown upon so that they would once again come into a flame.

7.        Since the gifts are of the Spirit, the zeal and excitement of salvation may be re-flamed, re-ignited—make to spark.

a.        HOW? When they seem on the decline, check we to your devotions. Are you reading, meditating, and praying over God’s Word? Are you frequently exercising yourself in carrying out God’s Great Commission of evangelisation?

b.        If you are bored in your Christian life, try coming out on visitation and talk with people about Christ and their eternal destiny—that will sure STIR THINGS UP IN YOU!

H.       Along with this God says, SHOW THYSELF.

1 Kings 2:2 – be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man.

Christians need to quit hiding their testimony and be bold in making it known. We need to walk our talk and step up to the task when called upon.

I.           God says, DELIGHT THYSELF.

Psalms 37:4 – Delight thyself also in the LORD, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

J.        God says, CHOOSE ... WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

Joshua 24:15 – Choose you this day whom you will serve.

Satan says, PUT IT OFF — you’ve got plenty of time.

GOD SAYS IN 2 Cor. 6:2 –

“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

K.       The words of 2 Cor. 6 are a citation from Isaiah 49:8 and are spoken by the heavenly Father to Christ, declaring He had heard him, as He always did.

1.        The Father heard Jesus when He sent up His prayer to Him, as recorded John 17:1-26 << TURN

2.        The Father heard Him:

a.        For the glorification of Himself – vs. 1-5

b.        By strengthening Jesus as the man in God’s work,

c.         By raising Christ from the dead, and setting Him at His own right hand, and giving Him the glory He had with Him before the world was – vs. 24.

d.       For the good of His people, the preservation of those that were called.

e.        For the conversion of them for whom He died.

3.        The Father also heard him on the cross with respect to the deliverance of Christ from man, with regard to Christ being forsaken by God, and for the forgiveness of Jesus’ enemies.

4.        Now, this period of time in which Jesus Christ was heard on account of these several things, is called a “time accepted” (2Cor. 6:2).

L.        It was also a time of acceptance, or an acceptable time for men — time to get saved and that time is presently with us!

 

Satan says, PUT OFF SALVATION— you’ve got plenty of time.

                              —God says “behold, now is the day of salvation.” WHAT DO YOU SAY?

 

21 Jan. `98, Wed. Eve




SERMON OUTLINES