Friday, November 21, 2008


Text: Various.

Delivered on: November 23, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. How often do you practice your religion?

  2. Is your religion a “once a week” religion?

  3. Is your religion a “twice a week” religion?

  4. Once a month? A year?

  5. How important is your religion to you?

  6. Is it right there with school, work, sports, etc?

  7. I would suggest to you that if you want a religion that is pleasing to God (and surely that is what all of us want), then you need to have a daily religion.

  8. When we are truly devoted to something, and love that thing, we do not consider it a chore.

  9. Luke 9:23. Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

  10. Let’s look at some of the things that the early church did on a daily basis.


  1. DAILY DEATH. 1 Corinthians 15:31. I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

    1. In what sense did Paul die on a daily basis?

      1. He gave himself completely over to service to Christ.

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

      3. Romans 6:6-7. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.

      4. Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

    2. We too must die on a daily basis.

      1. Have you given your life over to Christ as a living sacrifice?

      2. If we get this right, then everything else will fall into place.

      3. 2 Corinthians 8:5. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

      4. Luke 9:24. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

  2. DAILY FELLOWSHIP. Acts 2:44-46. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.

    1. Sometimes I worry that we don’t really appreciate the idea of Christian fellowship.

      1. The first church had fellowship.

      2. They had all things common.

      3. They were together on a daily basis.

      4. They took meals together on a daily basis.

    2. We need this type of fellowship in the church today.

      1. I realize that work and school schedules don’t allow us to do as much as we would like.

      2. But we can do better than we are.

      3. How can we pray for one another if we don’t know each other well enough to know each other’s needs.

      4. There have been times when we have had members going through serious problems and they never let anyone know about it. That is not fellowship!

      5. Fellowship is sharing our joys and trials with our brethren. 1 Corinthians 12:26.  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

    3. We are told to exhort one another daily. In order to do this, we must be together. Hebrews 3:13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

  3. DAILY BIBLE STUDY. Acts 17:11. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

    1. We need to search the Scriptures on a daily basis.

      1. Matthew 5:6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

      2. 1 Peter 2:2. As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.

      3. 2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

      4. 1 Peter 3:15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

      5. Psalm 1:1-3. Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

    2. We need to search the Scriptures so that we can become teachers.

      1. Hebrews 5:12-14. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

      2. We can’t be a good soldier of Jesus Christ if we don’t know how to use the sword of the Spirit.

        1. The sword of the Spirit is part of our armor.

        2. It is our only offensive weapon.

    3. We need to study with our children daily.

      1. Deuteronomy 6:6-7.  “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

      2. One might say, that is Old Testament.

      3. That’s right!

      4. Hebrews 2:1-3. Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

  4. DAILY EVANGELISM. Acts 5:42. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

    1. All of us either ought to be teachers or working toward the time when we can be teachers.

    2. Notice Acts 8:4. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

      1. Notice from verse 1 that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.

      2. It was the congregation that was scattered.

      3. And they were the ones who did the teaching.

      4. Not only that but they were teaching at the risk of their own lives.

    3. Are you ready to teach others? Romans 1:15. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

    4. 2 Timothy 2:2. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

  5. DAILY BENEVOLENCE. Acts 6:1. Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

    1. Benevolence – helping those who can not help themselves.

    2. James 1:27. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

    3. Galatians 6:9-10. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    4. Our benevolence need not be limited to the first and third Saturdays over here at the food pantry.

      1. We can visit the sick and shut-in.

      2. We can help shovel the neighbor’s driveway.

      3. We can go to the local nursing home and sit and talk with the residents.

    5. Don’t fall into the habit of thinking that since the church is helping feed the poor that it releases all of us as individuals from seeking to do good for others.


  1. How would you describe your religion?

  2. Daily?

  3. If not, make a correction.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Text: Various.

Delivered on:  November 16, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. Happy – feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.

  2. What does it take to make you happy?

  3. How would you define happiness?

    1. A life of wealth and pleasure?

    2. A life of constant fun?

    3. A life free of anxiety and worry.

  4. Have you ever heard someone say, “But God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He?”

    1. People usually make this statement when they are trying to justify some sin.

    2. Here is a man who is drunk more than he is sober. He has lost several jobs, destroyed his family, has no credibility with anybody but the bartender. And as he sinks lower and lower, we hear him say, “But God wants me to be happy.”

    3. Here is a man who shuns his responsibility as a father and a husband and runs off with another woman. When he is approached by someone who cares, he responds, “But God wants me to be happy.”

    4. Here is a young person who was brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Yet as he gets older he gives into temptation and falls prey to sexual immorality. When his parents or Christian friends try to correct him, he says, “But God wants me to be happy.”

    5. Here is a person who wants to feel good during worship. So he adds to the simple, New Testament plan for worship. When confronted, he says, “But God wants me to be happy.”

  5. Let us consider a few things.



    1. Simply put – Yes, God wants us to be happy.

    2. God wants us to enjoy the labor of our hands.

      1. Ecclesiastes 2:24.  Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.

      2. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13.  I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his laborit is the gift of God.

      3. Ecclesiastes 3:22. So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

      4. Ecclesiastes 5:18-19. Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. 19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.

    3. He wants us to rejoice and be at peace. Philippians 4:4-7.  Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    4. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. Galatians 5:22.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

    5. God wants us to be happy.

      1. God wants us to enjoy the labor of our hands which we are to recognize as a gift from Him.

      2. He wants us to rejoice and be anxious for nothing.

      3. He wants us to lead lives of joy.

      4. Not only are these things available to us; God expects us to have them.

    6. However, it is important for us to understand that our happiness is only a by-product of living a holy life.


    1. Holy – To be set apart for a divine purpose. Something that has been purified and cleansed for service to God.

    2. God wants us to be holy people.

      1. 2 Corinthians 7:1.  Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

      2. Ephesians 1:3-4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

      3. Hebrews 12:9-10. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

      4. 1 Peter 1:15-16. But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

      5. 1 Peter 2:9. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

      6. 2 Peter 3:11. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.

    3. In order to be holy, we must…

      1. Avoid sin. Romans 6:1-2. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

      2. Avoid false doctrine. Romans 16:17-18. Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

      3. Never cause another person to stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:12-13But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

      4. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Ephesians 5:11. And
        have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

      5. Deny ourselves. Luke 9:23. Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.


    1. Living in a right relationship with God is what brings real happiness.

    2. 1 Peter 3:8-12Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “ He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”

    3. Obviously, this does not mean that the Christian is going to lead a life of never-ending bliss.

      1. God chastens us. Hebrews 12:11. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

      2. He allows us to be tried. James 1:2-3. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

      3. 2 Timothy 3:12. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

    4. What it means is that Christians can have happiness in spite of the bad things that happen to us.

      1. This world is not my home!!!

      2. 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:2. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.

      3. As Christians, our hope is heaven. Revelation 21:4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”


  1. God wants us to be happy people.

  2. But He takes a longer view than we often do.

  3. We often look for the temporary pleasures that this world has to offer.

  4. God has, not only our happiness in this life, but also that eternal bliss in mind for us.

  5. The only way to have access to that true and lasting happiness is through holiness.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Text: Numbers 13:27-33.

Delivered on: October 26 & November 2, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. 1 Corinthians 10 establishes the fact that there is a very real parallel between the children of Israel and us today.

    1. 1 Corinthians 10:11.  Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

    2. We have talked about the similarities before.

      1. They were in physical bondage – we are in spiritual bondage to sin.

      2. They were delivered by Moses – we are delivered by Jesus.

      3. They were baptized unto Moses in the sea – we are baptized into Christ.

      4. They wandered in the wilderness – we sojourn here in the church.

      5. They entered into the promised land – we seek to enter in heaven.

  2. They knew that God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:8. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.

  3. We know that God has promised us heaven.

  4. However, like the children of Israel, we often allow ourselves to be side-tracked.

  5. Notice what happened when they spied out the land. Numbers 13:27-33. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we
    were in their sight.”

  6. How do we respond when challenges are placed before us?

  7. We see in this passage two different Recipes.

    1. The Recipe for Failure.

    2. The Recipe for Success.



    1. The spirit of pessimism. Numbers 13:31. But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

      1. A spirit of pessimism causes discouragement. Deuteronomy 1:28. Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”’

      2. A spirit of pessimism is often caused by fear. Joshua 14:8. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

      3. Are we pessimistic?

    2. Self Pity. Numbers 14:1So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.

      1. Cain fell prey to self-pity. Genesis 4:5-7. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

      2. There is a time to weep, but feeling sorry for oneself is a waste of time.

      3. All self-pity does is lead one away from the solution to whatever trouble he is facing.

      4. Do we wallow in self pity?

    3. Complaining. Numbers 14:2And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!

      1. 1 Corinthians 10:10. Nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

      2. Philippians 2:14-15. Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

      3. When we complain, God takes it personally.

        1. 1 Samuel 8:5-7. And said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

        2. Numbers 14:27. “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me.”

      4. Are we complainers?

    4. Looking Back. Numbers 14:3. Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”

      1. They had forgotten what it was like in Egypt. Exodus 1:13-14So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.

      2. Some come upon difficulties in their Christian walk and decide to go back into the world.

        1. Romans 6:21. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

        2. Luke 9:61-62. And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

      3. Do we ever look back?

    5. They had a Rebellious Spirit. Numbers 14:4. So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

      1. Because things weren’t working out the way they wanted, they were ready to reject God’s leadership completely.

      2. Many reject God’s authority today. For a variety of reasons.

      3. If we would enter the promise land, we must develop a spirit of obedience. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

    6. Lacking Faith. Numbers 14:11. Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?

      1. This was the root cause of their pessimism.

      2. Hebrews 3:17-19. Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who
        sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?
        18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

      3. Are we ever lacking in faith?


    1. An Optimistic Attitude. Numbers 13:30. Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

      1. God said that Caleb had a different spirit. Numbers 14:24. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.

      2. Joshua and Caleb saw opportunities, the 10 spies saw obstacles.

      3. Which do we see?

      4. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Churchill.

      5. Paul was optimistic about his brethren and his work.

        1. Philippians 1:6. Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

        2. Philippians 1:12-19. But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. 19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

      6. David was an optimist. 1 Samuel 17:32Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

      7. However, optimism alone will accomplish nothing. John 15:4-5Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

    2. Wholly follow the Lord. Joshua 14:6-8Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the LORD said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

      1. There are many who follow the Lord only as far as they want to go.

      2. To wholly follow the Lord, we must follow Him wherever it leads us.

      3. Revelation 14:1-4. Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.

        1. Jesus may lead us in a way that is not pleasing to our friends. 1 Peter 4:4. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

        2. Jesus may lead us in a way that is not pleasing to our family. Matthew 10:34-38. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

        3. Will we wholly follow the Lord?

      4. If not… Matthew 7:21-23. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    3. Passion for the Cause. Numbers 14:5-6. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes.

      1. Paul was misguided but he had a cause. Acts 26:9-11“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them . 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

      2. Paul went into his Christian ministry with the same zeal. Acts 14:19-23. Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

      3. Titus 2:13-14. Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and
        Savior Jesus Christ,
        14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

      4. 1 John 4:19. We love Him because He first loved us.

      5. 1 Timothy 1:12-16. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He
        counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,
        13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

    4. Dependence on and Trust in God. Numbers 14:7-9. And they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”

      1. Our success depends upon God.

      2. It is He who gives the increase.

        1. 1 Corinthians 3:6. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

        2. Colossians 2:19. And not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

        3. 2 Corinthians 3:4-5. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.

      3. We must trust God to fulfill His promises. Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

      4. What are some of these promises?

        1. Salvation.

        2. Answer to prayer.

        3. Hope of heaven.

        4. Spiritual blessings.

        5. Ability to overcome trials and temptations.

    5. Sticktoitiveness. Numbers 14:36-38. Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, 37 those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.

      1. We must stick to it in our good works. Galatians 6:9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

      2. We must stick to it in prayer. Luke 18:1. Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

      3. We must stick to it in our Christian walk. Revelation 2:10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.