Preaching Outline of Daniel, Chapter 3 Message 4

Daniel chapter 3, Message 4

A familiar account of God’s protection, or is there a lesson we often overlook?

I. The Plan. Daniel 3:1

Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
The king had requested the interpretation of his dream, received the revelation of God’s plan for the nations, and rejecting the Word of the Lord, refused to submit and determined to overrule God by creating his own plan for the future – to be more than the ‘the head of gold’, he would have all of the power!

II. The Proclamation. 3:2-6

Daniel 3:2-6 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (See Jeremiah 29:22)

III. The Prejudice. 3:12 (envy, jealousy)

Those who bowed in worship of this idol were jealous of the courage of these men. The integrity and determination of the Hebrews illuminated the weakness of these leaders. They could either take courage and turn to God or cause the Hebrews to be killed. They chose to stand against God. Do their actions sound familiar?

Daniel 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

IV. The Proud King. 3:15

Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

V. The Proof of faith. 3:16-18

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

They were aware of the consequences of their actions and did not seek to argue with the King. Their trust was not in the conscience of the king or compromise with his demand. Their trust was in God – in life or in death, God is all in all!

VI. The Protection from God. 3:19-27

A. The king’s fury was unleashed against them.

Daniel 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

B. The king’s folly – his own servants were killed by the raging inferno –

Daniel 3:22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

C. The king’s frustration.

Daniel 3:24-25 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

D. The king’s fear –

Daniel 3:26-27 (KJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

The king learned that he could have no power except it was given to him from God. God reminded Nebuchadnezzar that the plan of God would come to pass and it was not about glorifying Nebuchadnezzar – it is about the glory being given to God who only rightly deserves worship and glory.

VII. The Praise unto the Lord. 3:28-30

Daniel 3:28-29 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

‘The most high god’, proclaiming superior position, but not claiming Jehovah as his God! Nebuchadnezzar came short of saving faith in God, even though he praised the power of God! Just because people praise Him does not mean they trust in Him.

VIII. The Problem.

Most often we focus on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego when we read these verses, which is good in that we are reminded again of the grace of God working out His will in His power, but we miss the lesson from God that no one is above Him! No one, no matter how exalted by God in the pursuit of accomplishing His purpose on earth, is excused from submitting to Him in all things. The truth that has been revealed by this occasion is that this was simply another confession by Nebuchadnezzar based on emotion, like that the previous confession to Daniel –

Daniel 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

– not a true confession of the worthiness of God who is due all worship, submission, and obedience.

We have met many people over these years that confess that Jesus is Lord, yet this confession is simply based on a need they had in their lives –

Physical healing
Personal relationship
Emotional problems

– All of which the Lord helps with, yet none of which are true confessions of faith.

What is a true confession then?

We are sinners, not able to save ourselves.

We need a Saviour that will satisfy the justice of God, bringing us into relationship with Him.

We ask for His forgiveness and His salvation, believing that Jesus is the only way of salvation.

Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

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Preaching Outline The Book of Daniel Chapter 2, Message 3

Daniel chapter 2, message 3

God used this situation to bring glory to Himself and to place Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into positions of leadership in the kingdom by which their testimonies for the Lord would be noticed by all. God used them to encourage Israel to trust in Him and to teach the unbelieving to recognize His power over all the world.

We begin this morning with –

I. The Demand Daniel 2:1-3

Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream and woke up in a panic, determined to know its meaning. What brought him to this emotional state?

A. He reviewed his empire and thought about how best to ensure its continued glory.

Daniel 2:29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

In the quiet moments before sleep, he did as many of us also do, think about what the future holds for us and those that come after us.

1. He was concerned about how he would be remembered.
2. He contemplated the future of the empire.

B. He received the answer, but could not remember what it was!

To seek answers, to receive the answer, then to forget! He became desperate to know both the dream and the interpretation. He was the conqueror of empires, proud of his accomplishments – what would become of them?

II. The Distress Daniel 2:4-7

Nebuchadnezzar called his wise men as he had many times in the past, but this occasion was different. He not only wanted them to tell him the meaning of the dream (which they could interpret according to what they knew he wanted to hear), he wanted them to tell him the dream itself! They again besought him to tell them what the dream was. They knew they were in trouble. They had gotten by for years being able to satisfy him, but not this time. “…be sure your sin will find you out.” Now they faced –

III. The Danger Daniel 2:8-13

A. The confession of the counsellors –

Daniel 2:10-11 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

They realized that they had no more hope of knowing the truth through supernatural means than they did trying to work out the meaning through their own human logic. They could not depend on communicating with a spirit and if they were wrong, they would be killed.

B. The command to execute all of the wise men that stood before the King.

Again, Nebuchadnezzar revealed his character: he was an able leader and administrator, but extremely proud and immature. He would destroy anyone that kept him from having what he wanted!

IV. The Dependence on the Lord Daniel 2:14-13

Daniel had a precedent for his trust in God: Joseph and Pharaoh. We all should learn from history and especially from God’s Word, the Bible. –

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…”

A. Daniel’s plea.

Daniel 2:14,16 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom… Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

B. Daniel’s prayer.

Daniel 2:17-18 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret….

C. Daniel’s praise.

Daniel 2:19-23 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: …..I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.

Daniel 2:27-30 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living…

The Lord through the inspiration of His Holy Word has brought us to this point that we might see His power working out His plan for the ages –

V. The Dream Daniel 2:31-45

A. Described the dream. Daniel 2:31-36

The image representing the four empires from Nebuchadnezzar through the ages until finally overthrown by the Kindom of God.

Daniel 2:31-35 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

B. Disclosed the meaning. Daniel 2:37-45

1. The Gold Kingdom. Daniel 2:37-38

Daniel 2:37-38 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory…..Thou art this head of gold.

2. The Silver Kingdom. Daniel 2:39 “…inferior to thee…”
3. The Brass Kingdom. Daniel 2:39 “…bear rule over all the earth.”
4. The Iron Kingdom. Daniel 2:40-43

This Iron Kingdom has overthrown the kingdoms before it and ruled with power and strength. Eventually this kingdom divided into two, known as East and West. It lost much of its power but not its influence and is still influencing the world today –

Daniel 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

5. The Final Kingdom – the Kingdom of God.

Daniel 2:44-45 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

God revealed to man His plan for the ages. Daniel did not understand the details of what God revealed to him and continued to keep these things on his heart and mind. We will learn more of this as the Lord used Daniel throughout the 70 years captivity of Israel. We do learn at this time that God used Nebuchadnezzar’s concern for the future to bring Daniel to the forefront in the kingdom and establish him in a position that he may never have thought possible –

VI. The Dignity. Daniel 2:46-49

We learn that in the plan of God, there is no unimportant moment. God knows everything and He takes note of all that goes on, even the thoughts hidden in our hearts and minds. God took notice of Nebuchadnezzar as he thought about the future in the moments before drifting off to sleep and he used this moment to bring glory to Himself, promoted Daniel to be ruler of Babylon, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the administration of the affairs of the government.

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
What is in your heart today? God knows what you are thinking, all that you are considering. How will He use that which He knows? Will He bring blessing or judgment? Only you and God know – what will you do about it this morning?

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Preaching Outline on the Book of Daniel, Message Two A Model of Integrity

Daniel – a Model of Integrity

I. The Interest of Nebuchadnezzer.

Daniel 1:3-4 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

A. Nebuchadnezzer’s goal.

He wanted to develop a character in them to effectively submit and serve in the administration of his kingdom. Through background research and personal interviews, the kings counsellors looked for the following qualities –

1. Physical presence.
2. Intellectual ability.
3. Social adaptability.

This is the world’s formula for success.

Remember when Samuel was interviewing Jesse’s sons to find the man that God had chosen to be king, these were the qualities that he looked for. The Lord intervened and revealed an important truth to Samuel –

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

B. Nebuchadnezzer was of the world. He had no knowledge or interest in the character that God develops in lives –

1. Morality – a holy character.
2. Meekness – a reliance on God.
3. Mercy – not self seeking.

While Daniel and his friends had these Godly qualities, they were initially chosen on the merits of man’s wisdom. Once they were chosen, they faced an intense program –
II. The Indoctrination.

They may have been intrigued by the aspects of their proposed education. They were obviously able to excel in the system of the Chaldeans as they had been chosen from among all others for this program.

A. The task – it was more than simply and education in new things – math, science, language, culture.

B. The truth – not to just educate, but to transform these young Jewish men into Chaldeans.

1. They began with the change of their names.

a. Daniel is the Hebrew name that means “God is Judge”.
b. Belteshazzar is Chaldean for “Bel’s Prince”, suggesting that Daniel would become a disciple of the false God of the Chaldeans.

2. They continued with the change of language. Language is the reflection of the culture.
3. They also changed the diet, knowing that diet is unique to cultures and involves tradition and fellowship.

What is called today ‘brain washed’. Forget the past and become Chaldeans.

III. The Integrity Daniel 1:5-8 Note vs. 8

A. The courage of integrity.

Daniel’s request went against the purpose of Nebuchadnezzar. Convictions were backed by courage.

B. The character of integrity.

1. Daniel had an unapologizing boldness. Daniel 1:8.

a. Daniel’s declaration. “…might not defile himself…”

Those in charge may have said “wait a minute, this is what we eat and drink! Does that mean that we are defiled”?

b. Daniel’s desire. He set a high standard for himself.

1). He would eat vegetables only. This was not required by God, but it would set a standard of difference between him and the other leaders of the Chaldeans.
2). He would drink no wine. He purposed that he would rise above the standards of the world and would live according to the standard set by God for the priest and judges.

Leviticus 10:8-11 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

We note that Daniel expected more of himself than others expected of him.

2. Daniel had unrelenting will. Daniel 1:11-13

a. He was not deterred when told that the diet could not be changed.
b. He appealed the ruling and trusted God for the outcome.
c. How many of us in a similar situation may say “Oh, is that the way it is? – Well, whatever”.

3. Daniel had unfailing faith. Daniel 1:14-16

a. Daniel expected God to bless.
b. Daniel and his friends displayed integrity in not compromising their convictions in this beginning of a new life. Everything for them had changed – except their God. They knew and trust in the unchanging God.

Integrity should be the characteristic of every believer. It can be done – God has not changed!

We must begin with salvation. We cannot know truth outside of the Spiritual leadership of God. Trust Him as Saviour today.

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Preaching outline The Book of Daniel Message Two A model of integrity

Daniel – a Model of Integrity

I. The Interest of Nebuchadnezzer.

Daniel 1:3-4 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

A. Nebuchadnezzer’s goal.

He wanted to develop a character in them to effectively submit and serve in the administration of his kingdom. Through background research and personal interviews, the kings counsellors looked for the following qualities –

1. Physical presence.
2. Intellectual ability.
3. Social adaptability.

This is the world’s formula for success.

Remember when Samuel was interviewing Jesse’s sons to find the man that God had chosen to be king, these were the qualities that he looked for. The Lord intervened and revealed an important truth to Samuel –

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

B. Nebuchadnezzer was of the world. He had no knowledge or interest in the character that God develops in lives –

1. Morality – a holy character.
2. Meekness – a reliance on God.
3. Mercy – not self seeking.

While Daniel and his friends had these Godly qualities, they were initially chosen on the merits of man’s wisdom. Once they were chosen, they faced an intense program –
II. The Indoctrination.

They may have been intrigued by the aspects of their proposed education. They were obviously able to excel in the system of the Chaldeans as they had been chosen from among all others for this program.

A. The task – it was more than simply and education in new things – math, science, language, culture.

B. The truth – not to just educate, but to transform these young Jewish men into Chaldeans.

1. They began with the change of their names.

a. Daniel is the Hebrew name that means “God is Judge”.
b. Belteshazzar is Chaldean for “Bel’s Prince”, suggesting that Daniel would become a disciple of the false God of the Chaldeans.

2. They continued with the change of language. Language is the reflection of the culture.
3. They also changed the diet, knowing that diet is unique to cultures and involves tradition and fellowship.

What is called today ‘brain washed’. Forget the past and become Chaldeans.

III. The Integrity Daniel 1:5-8 Note vs. 8

A. The courage of integrity.

Daniel’s request went against the purpose of Nebuchadnezzar. Convictions were backed by courage.

B. The character of integrity.

1. Daniel had an unapologizing boldness. Daniel 1:8.

a. Daniel’s declaration. “…might not defile himself…”

Those in charge may have said “wait a minute, this is what we eat and drink! Does that mean that we are defiled”?

b. Daniel’s desire. He set a high standard for himself.

1). He would eat vegetables only. This was not required by God, but it would set a standard of difference between him and the other leaders of the Chaldeans.
2). He would drink no wine. He purposed that he would rise above the standards of the world and would live according to the standard set by God for the priest and judges.

Leviticus 10:8-11 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

We note that Daniel expected more of himself than others expected of him.

2. Daniel had unrelenting will. Daniel 1:11-13

a. He was not deterred when told that the diet could not be changed.
b. He appealed the ruling and trusted God for the outcome.
c. How many of us in a similar situation may say “Oh, is that the way it is? – Well, whatever”.

3. Daniel had unfailing faith. Daniel 1:14-16

a. Daniel expected God to bless.
b. Daniel and his friends displayed integrity in not compromising their convictions in this beginning of a new life. Everything for them had changed – except their God. They knew and trust in the unchanging God.

Integrity should be the characteristic of every believer. It can be done – God has not changed!

We must begin with salvation. We cannot know truth outside of the Spiritual leadership of God. Trust Him as Saviour today.

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Wednesday night message: Thomas – a man of contradictions

Wednesday night lesson: The Apostle Thomas. A man of contradictions

The early historians wrote that the Apostle Thomas traveled east to India and preached the Gospel to the peoples of that area. Many fanciful stories have been written about his exploits and death, but we really need to follow the facts and leave the stories alone.

The last reference to Thomas in Scripture is by Luke in the book of –

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

Following the ascension of Jesus, Thomas is listed with the other Apostles in the congregation of the church in Jerusalem. He is among the faithful in the early church and stands for the Lord in difficult times.

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

How did Thomas come to this ministry of the Gospel in the church? Was it easy for him? The Word of God reveals to us his humanity and I trust we can identify with him tonight.

I. Conversion – no record given.

II. Chosen (Following a night of prayer, the Lord chose His Apostles)

Matthew 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

III. Committed (to the Lord)

John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

IV. Concerned (Wanted answers. So many things the Lord and said and done were beyond their understanding)

John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

V. Confused along with others – Luke 24 Many believers were doubting the meaning of the events on that first day of the week. It took time for them to reconcile the plan of God with their own expectations of what He should do –

Mark 9:31-32 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

The good thing is that Thomas continued to assemble with the believers. Even though he missed this opportunity for some reason, he did return. It is sad when people give up and walk away. They miss the blessings of God.

VI. Convinced. The grace of the Lord, He gave time for Thomas to deal with his doubts.

John 20:26-29 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

He resorted with the apostles from then on and was present to see the restoration of Peter to service.

John 21:2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

Believing is sometimes difficult, but the Lord ask us to trust Him, believe Him, and prove His Word in our own lives. When we are saved, born again, we truly become ‘new creatures’ in Him. We have God the Holy Spirit in us to direct us into all truth. When we stay with Him daily in His Word and live out the faith, we become convinced of truth –

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against

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Wednesday Night Message: Lessons from John the Baptist

Lessons from John the Baptist
I. Conceived miraculously.
Luke 1:13-14 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
II. Consecrated from conception.
Luke 1:15-17 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
III. Called to serve the Lord.
Luke 1:16-17 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
IV. Courageous in service. Read Luke 3:18-20
Luke 7:24-28 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
V. Confused by circumstances.
Luke 7:18-20 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
Being faithful in service does not guarantee understanding the working of God in our lives. We need to be faithful, having faith in Him, understanding that His plan is bigger than we are. We are a part of the whole and will bring glory to God through carrying out our part in His work. We should always remember –
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Note of interest: The comparison of John to Elijah.
Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Matthew 11:13-14 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Both Elijah and John were powerful prophets of God, but each came to have doubts about the success of their ministries.
Elijah did not understand why Israel did not repent in sackcloth and ashes following the victory God wrought against the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. At the end of the day, nothing had changed except the anger of Jezebel had increased and she sought to have him killed!
Men measure their work according to their perception in time and space. The Lord views His work in both time and eternity. He knows the end from the beginning.
We must invest our faith and trust in Him.

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Wednesday night message: Rehoboam – a man unprepared to serve the Lord

Rehoboam – a man unprepared to serve the Lord
Text: 2 Chronicles 11 and 12
Notice Solomon’s concern for his son and the instruction he gave to him.
Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Proverbs 23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

23 times Solomon gave wise counsel to his son, and unto all men under the leadership of God.
Children may receive instruction, but not always apply it to their lives.

We should all desire to be the best that we can be for God and to have the best that God has for us.
If you are a Christian today, your salvation is secure, you are “in Christ” :

Romans 8:1a “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,…
John 3:16-18 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:28-30

Yet, you may not be living for God, giving Him your best and because of this you have not been in the position to receive the blessings from God. Paul the Apostle was concerned about this in his own life and spoke of the care and the diligence he showed in giving his best to God.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

He did not want to be set aside, not to be put on a shelf and only have memories of what he used to do, the blessings he used to have: he wanted to give his best and he wanted to receive the best from God.

Let me make a clarification here. The best we may receive from God is not fortune or power; or even good health and long life. God can give these things, but what we are speaking of is eternal, everlasting benefits. Not only eternal life, but fellowship with God and being used of God.
What did the Apostle Paul have of what people would count as valuable? Very little!
What did he have of what God counts as valuable? Much – he was faithful and usable. He was what he called a ‘vessel unto honour’ – one that God would be pleased to use. A vessel unto honour!

Let’s look this morning at a king in the Old Testament that ended up with less than the best from God. He started out knowing the truth, but how did he finish?

I. The blessings of faith. He obeyed the principles of God. 2 Chronicles 11:4-17
He wanted to reunite the kingdom by using force, but he repented and –

A. He submitted to God’s will. 2 Chronicles 11:4
B. He secured the land – the people dwelt in safety. 2 Chronicles 11:5-12 This is the purpose of the government.
C. He sought the Lord. 2 Chronicles 11:13-17

1. He welcomed those that sought the Lord.
2. He walked in the way of David and Solomon: worshipped the Lord.

God blessed them with peace and safety. In this time of blessing, living a comfortable life, he began to seek the pleasures of life (11:23.”…and he desired many wives.”) instead of obeying the principles of God.

II. The danger of prosperity. He obeyed the pride of life. 2 Chronicles 12:1
People get comfortable
A. He was secure in his position. He was the King.
B. He was secure in his protection. He had fortified the cities
C. He was satisfied and no longer needed to serve God.

1. He turned from following the Lord.
2. He opened up Judah to every form of sin.
1 Kings 14:22-24 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
3. His example was followed by the people.

He wanted God to bless him and accepted the blessings of God in the name of God. Once he believed he had enough, he wanted God to leave him alone and let him do what he wanted to do. He did not realize how careful God is about His name.
Psalm 23 “he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His names sake…”!

D. He was shaken by God’s judgment. 2 Chronicles12:2-4

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

III. The results of repentance. 2 Chronicles12:5-12

A. Blessings from God. 2 Chronicles 12:5-7 God forgave them because of their repentence and turning to Him. This forgiveness resulted in –

1. Peace.
2. Protection.
But, it also resulted in a –

3. Price. There is a price to pay for sin. We all will end up –

B. Bearing the consequences. 2 Chronicles 12:8-12

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Rehoboam could have had the best that God had to give, but he did not follow the Lord with all of his heart. The Lord revealed to us Rehoboam’s problem.
Look in 2 Chronicles 12:14.
Rehoboam did not prepare his own heart to walk with the Lord. Last week we looked at the life of Ezra, a man that did prepare his heart to follow the Lord and we noted the blessings of God upon him. We have a choice –

A simple formula has been passed down for years in business to help people succeed. It is this – “Plan your work, and work your plan”. It means to prepare yourself for success. If you will be faithful to the Lord you must also prepare yourself. Determine to do God’s will.

1. Be saved.
2. Be baptized.
3. Be instructed.
4. Be serving, teaching others to be saved, be baptized, be instructed.
Matthew 28:18-20. Are you ready to meet the Lord or will you be ashamed if He comes today?

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