Habakkuk 3:17-19 – Free Sermon Notes
They put out several weather advisories, including a tornado warning, and also a flood advisory. We did keep on the alert for a tornado, but one thing I did NOT worry about that day was our house flooding.
Some of you know we live at the end of a cul-de-sac off of Hwy 70 east of Morganton, and it is situated up on hill. The street drops way downhill from our house and is much lower at the other end — there is a little creek down there; I might worry if I lived there — but our house is set up on high in a safe place from any floods which might come against us.
It is good to have that kind of peace of mind about the security of your house. And that is what Jesus talks about in this passage. That is a false gospel, and you are setting yourself and others up for bitter disappointment if that is your message. It is not true. The storms of life are common to us all. Being a Christian did not keep Joni from becoming paralyzed, and it did not guarantee that she would be healed when she was.
But she has lived these last 50 years with an amazing outlook and strength of character, and a worldwide ministry, as a quadriplegic, because her life has been built upon the rock! But when I got sick with POTS and lost my job and my home, I had a real peace about it — I knew God had a plan and a purpose in it — because my life had been built upon the rock.
But IN that mesothelioma, he has an assurance that God is with him, and he has a home in heaven no matter what, because he has built his life upon the ROCK! They both might have gone to church. Because the one who hears the word often thinks they have done what they are supposed to do, because they just listened to it; when the truth is, that is not enough. You have to DO IT! This gets right to the heart of it for a lot of people.
How many of us here in church today, walk out of services each week feeling really good about ourselves, because we were at church to hear the sermon? But Jesus tells us plainly here: that is not enough. That will not make the difference for your life. You know what the hard truth is? That some of us here today are no more saved than that wicked King Herod was.
As we saw last week, our salvation is not based on what we do. They just did what He told them to do. But things are different today. As we have seen, JUST hearing and reading is not enough; we have to do it. That is the first step. One of the biggest problems we have as Christians is that we are NOT consistently reading the word of God. This is one of the reasons why we are going to have an all-church emphasis on reading through the Bible in But unfortunately, ALL we are doing is reading it.
Not something general, not something generally applicable, but rather with a personal relationship to us. He repeated this to us very early on, that the whole thing comes from that. Are you doing what He says to you through these messages we share on Sunday morning?
I have to admit; I enjoy it when people tell me after the service that the message was good; every pastor wants to hear that. One of our people told me recently that their prayer life has been dramatically different since we studied how to pray using the outline of the Model Prayer.
THAT is what we are shooting for. It will not stand the storms that come against it. I mean, most of us would consider that person to be a pretty good Christian, right: if you just go to church every week, and read your Bible every day? You are not building your life on the rock by just going to church and reading your Bible unless you are DOING what you are hearing and reading!
If you have difficulty coming up with something, you are in trouble. What do you think are you doing? Folks, we are living in perilous times. We may have war; we may see economic collapse; we already DO have moral and spiritual collapse; there is personal tragedy and testing of one kind or another ahead for all of us.
We will all be tested. Just like Jesus said here: the rain is about to fall; the floods are about to come; the winds are about to blow, and burst against our lives. Are you going to stand or fall when those things come?
Where is Your Focus? (Matthew 6:19-24)
These are interesting times for communicators and preachers. And never have we felt more pressure in delivering our own. Rinse, lather and repeat and you have a fireable offense. A third factor may be that vicious cycle of jealousy and inadequacy. A Rip Off Epidemic Too many preachers are wanting easy sermons.
But my team has found other preachers preaching our local series verbatim, with no permission and zero attribution. Even the jokes were re-used. Ditto with my blog. My team has found other bloggers who have taken my content, pasted it word for word into their blog, and written their name above the post as the author. And at the heart of it is giving credit where credit is due.
Only fools think they are truly original thinkers. You just need to give credit. Which is exactly why most pastors who plagiarize resist giving credit.
So what should preachers do? Rather than finding easy sermons online, I suggest a simple guideline for preachers: Write your own stuff. So why do we want to rip off other communicators?
Preachers, write your own stuff. Click To Tweet 1. Just listen to Tim Keller. He does this regularly and generously.
And guess what? Also one of the smartest. It actually makes you look smart. Ripping people off is lazy. You lie Lying is an integrity issue. If you steal money, you get fired. If you steal ideas, maybe you should be fired too. Click To Tweet 3. You stop growing Of all the leaders and communicators who have their ideas ripped off, Andy Stanley is likely at top of the list.
I loved his answer you can listen to the episode here. They miss the angst, the frustration and the tremendous reward that comes from wrestling down ideas until they come out in a powerful and helpful way.
Preachers, when you start stealing, you stop growing. You also lose your own voice. Because Millennials can smell a lack of authenticity a mile away. And real resonates. Both legally? Yes, you can. There can be strategic purposes for doing so. And when you do, give credit. You lose touch with God When you plagiarize, you lose touch with God in at least two significant ways. First, the sins of lying and stealing are themselves a barrier. Confession stands between you and God. Second, stealing ideas required zero reliance on the Holy Spirit for inspiration, direction, courage or insights.
The real power in preaching comes not from our words, but from what God does with our words. Do the hard work. You and everyone around you will be better for it. Stealing ideas required zero reliance on the Holy Spirit for inspiration, direction, or courage. Click To Tweet 5. Sin is like a weed: It grows fast and you never have to water it.
The best way to tackle sin is to pull it out by its root before it creeps into other areas of your life. Sin is like a weed, it grows fast and you never have to water it. Click To Tweet So what do I do? What should you do in a hyper-connected era when you and I are exposed to more ideas in a day than our grandparents were in a month or year? Just give credit where credit is due. Link back. That covers most of us. I would strongly encourage anyone in this category to come clean.
Talk to your board. What do you think about pastors using these easy sermons? Am I being too hard on us as communicators? Scroll down and leave a comment!
You invest all your money in what looks like a killer portfolio and the market goes bust. You put years into a relationship with another person and now that relationship falls apart. What do you do when all that you are counting on in the present suddenly comes crumbling down around you? What do you do when you suffer bitter disappointments in life?
Trusting God No Matter What
They represent your reserves. But in this scenario, you have no reserves to fall back on. There are no sheep in the pen. There are no cattle in the stalls. There is no more equity in the house. Your friends and family have helped you all they can. Your credit cards are maxed out. Your physical strength is tapped. Your reserves are all used up.
What do you do when you have nothing to fall back on? Habakkuk would tell you, fall back on God, and he will hold you up. It is easy to trust God when the olive crop succeeds and the fields are producing food. It is easy to trust God when you have plenty of sheep and cattle in reserve. But are you really trusting in God at those times? Or are you merely trusting in the things that you have? Think about Job in the Old Testament. This was exactly the question Satan asked God about Job.
Habakkuk challenges us with the same question.
Don’t Give Up—Look Up and Live Up – Galatians 6:9
Do you really trust God, or do you only trust him when you know his blessing on your life? Which would make you feel more financially secure — having a million dollars in the bank or having a God who promises to meet your daily needs? Stop and think about that for a moment.
Be brutally honest with yourself. If the answer is the million dollars in the bank, then you are not trusting God but the money in the bank. And you know what? Those million dollars could be gone tomorrow anyways. But if the answer is having a God who promises to meet your daily needs, then no matter what your situation, you can feel more secure than the person who has a million dollars in the bank!
You can feel more secure because you are more secure. That is trusting God no matter what. But when these things are lacking, to rejoice in God for his own sake is evidence of pure faith.
Because he is God your Savior. He has promised to deliver you in his time, and he has never let the righteous fall. Find strength in God to scale the heights, even when you are down. Habakkuk was about to go through some hard times. The thought of it scared him so much that his heart pounded and his legs trembled. Yet as he rejoiced in God in the midst of difficult circumstances, he found new strength from God to deal with the trial at hand.
What is this strength like that God gives you? Do you long to enter the higher places of fellowship with God? Then find your strength in him alone. Trust God to lift you up when you are down. The book tells the story of a girl named Much-Afraid and her own journey from doubt to faith.
Her story begins as she leaves the Valley of Fear. This verse reminds me of the chameleon eyes again. Jesus says that you cannot serve God and money. He says we cannot be devoted to two masters. He uses master in the sense that we are completely devoted to someone.
Looking For An Easy Sermon? 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Preach Other People’s Sermons
Everything we do is for their pleasure and they have dominion over us. Jesus says that your master can be God or your master can be money. Jesus said you cannot be completely sold-out to money and be completely sold-out to God. You will love the one and hate the other or you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
We must be focused in our living. We must live for God! We must be devoted to God and His good gifts. We must store up treasure in heaven. We must have our eye set to the things of light. Concluding Thoughts: I believe that the implications for the devotion of our heart, the direction of our eye, and the way we live go far beyond money.
However, Jesus is explicitly talking about money and possessions in this passage. Money and possessions do seem to have a unique hold on many of us. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Money itself is a gift of God.
We collect money every week at our church. Money can be used for the glory of God. Go out there and get as much money as you can and use it for the glory of God.
Use it to buy things that glorify God. Give it away to those in need. Give it to a church that seeks to glorify God and attain a vision worthy of giving towards. I make no apologies for asking you to give to our church and to our vision because I believe you are making investments in the kingdom of God and you are storing up for yourself treasures in heaven. Make more of an investment! Store up more treasures! Give so we can feed the poor in Bartow.
Death is Not the End of Our Story
Give so we can bless our community. Give so we can take the gospel all over the world. Give so we can maintain the wonderful facilities with which God has blessed us. Give so we can employ and bless a healthy church staff. Give so we can meet needs that we have in our building, in our worship, and in our outreach. Give so we can reach new people and continue to grow. Give so we can develop disciples who love God, love the church, and love others.
There are other ways that we can store up treasures in heaven. We must refocus our hearts, our eye, and our lives. We must focus on the riches of God. He wants us to see what true riches are. He wants us to see that love is better, peace is better, grace is better, forgiveness is better, and best of all is adoption into the family of God, made possible by His sacrifice on the cross.
Challenge yourself this week in the following ways: Weekly Challenge: [on screen] Identify the three things on which you focus the most. Be honest. Identify the top three things that consume your focus. Identify the one thing on which you focus the most. On, what one thing do you focus the most? Ask God to help you treasure His riches. Closing: You know, church, I often hear from people or read things about the concern of the dying of Christianity in America and other parts of the world.
Do you know what the greatest threat is to Christianity? The greatest threat to Christianity is a lack of genuine godly living among those who profess to be Christians. It is to be done with the way we live and it is do be done in the form of a verbal witness. But it is not always an easy task is it? There will be times of difficulty—there will be times of opposition to the teaching of the Word.
We may find ourselves under criticism. We may lack support from others in this doing good. Or we may be tempted to do the good work in our own strength, without complete reliance on God for strength and wisdom to do the work. We may grow impatient because the fruit of our labors is usually not immediate. And this last one is what we see referred to in the text where we see that there will be reaping if we do not lose heart—if we do not give up.
Think of the picture we get with reaping a harvest. To be reaping there must be sowing, right? But that is not all. What does the farmer do? He first mutilate a doll 2 fullscreen the soil and then he plants the seed.
He then waters and fertilizes the seed and then he must wait for the growth. And he waits patiently for the growth because there is the promise of a bountiful harvest. I can picture in my mind even now the countryside I enjoyed during a few of the years as a youngster that our family lived in central Ohio. You may have passed through the area of Ohio before where there is nothing for miles but rich, fertile farm land, as flat as a board, as far as you can see. The farmers there worked the soil with such diligence and huge pieces of farm machinery until the fields looked like black velvet.
And then they would spend large sums of money on seed delivered in large trucks only to go bury all that seed in the ground. And many of the farms had huge mechanical creatures that walked back and forth watering, irrigating the soil.
But after all the work those farmers had done I never once remember seeing a farmer going out to check his seeds. I never once remember seeing a farmer digging up his seeds to see if they were growing. That would have been foolish. A farmer has faith that what he has sown in seed will be harvested a thousand times over in a bountiful crop.
And that is the promise we find in our text this morning. Galatians — And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
When things are challenging or trying the temptation is always there to give up. And in the good work of the church there is always a temptation to give up because the fruit—the harvest—is usually not immediate. When you feel like quitting, do not quit.