1Kings Sermons

First Kings Sermons by Rev. Mike Jones [Revised March 5, 2019]

IKings 01:1-4THE WARMING WIFE

IKings 01:1 Abishag, The Warming Wife

IKings 02:1 4 WHAT AM I DOING HERE??

IKings 02:28-34 THE MAN WHO CAME TO THE ALTAR TOO LATE

IKings 12:12-15 DIVIDED KINGDOM

IKings 12:26 33 BEGINNING YOUR OWN RELIGION

IKings 17: 1-7 BIRD BEAK BREAD

IKings 19:10 I Only

IKings 19:- THE CURE FOR THE BLUES

IKings 19: DISCOURAGING DISCOURAGEMENT

IKings 20:1-4 ABSOLUTE SURRENDER

IKings 01:1-4THE WARMING WIFE

When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his servants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.” Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her. 1 Kings 1:1-4 (P588)

Abishag is one of those interesting incidents in the Bible. She was a lady who became a Queen but without all the rights and rewards that go with it. Her main function was simply to use the heat of her body to act like an electric blanket.

Sadly, Indications are that, following King David’s Death, she was placed in a position of permanent widowhood. The last place we hear mention of her is I Kings 2:13-25 where Adonijah tries to secure her as a wife in a continuing effort to seize the kingdom from Solomon (Which results in Solomon sentencing Adonijah to Death). There is no indication that Solomon married her, so it appears she was destined to never know the joy of marriage.

We know a few things about this “Warming Wife”, Abishag.

1. Her MORALS- We know she was a woman of high morals because she was a virgin.

2. Her BEAUTY- We know she was a woman of great beauty because she was chosen above all the other girls of Israel and the scriptures say she was very beautiful.

3. Her FUNCTION- To Care for the King and keep him warm.

The point of the Message today is that I feel there are many people who resemble this “Warming Wife” in there Church work and their relationship to the Lord. They are “warm bodies” in the Church but they never enjoy the full benefits of the Christian life.

Their MORALS are acceptable to Society (and maybe even God). They have a form of BEAUTY in that they dress and act acceptably. But they think their only function is to be present in service from time to time and boast our body count. More and more they find their moral values matching those of the world (R-rated movies become normal, Heaven is not as important as resting at home).

There is NO INVOLVEMENT in their Service- Since they only provide “warmth”, they feel no need to become involved in Church activities and outreach. They don’t think of themselves as a vital part of the BODY of Christ. They consider themselves more in the order of clothing to adorn the body and keep it warm- if they aren’t there then the body will find something else to wear.

There is NO JOY in their service. They have the name of “Queen” but they never enjoy the Rights and Rewards that go with it. They never testify of answered Prayer. They never obtain special Blessings from the Lord. Church services are endured instead of enjoyed. Therefore they never witness to a lost and dying world about the benefits and Blessings of being a Child of God (and the blood of lost multitudes will be on their hands!!).

How do you stop being a “Warming Wife”? How do you change from being a “warm body” into a vital member of the Body of Christ?

I. DESIRE- Abishag and King David lay in the same bed but there was no desire to have an intimate relationship. The very essence of “Lukewarm Christianity” is satisfaction with the world. Rich, increased with goods, and having need of nothing; you don’t mind sharing a little warmth but you really don’t want to spend the time and energy necessary to build a relationship (And you can rest assured, it takes time and effort). It takes DESIRE to have a Daily Devotion. It takes DESIRE to get up and get to Church by 9 O’clock on Sunday. It takes DESIRE to change your Christianity from a Religion into a Relationship.

II. COMMITMENT- Abishag didn’t marry the King, she only served him. As a Result, she was excluded from Rights and Rewards. Many Christians need to make a COMMITMENT to God and Church that is just as binding as a marriage COMMITMENT is supposed to be (I’m talking about supposed to be, not the way it’s made today). Our Youth Fellowship cannot function if our Young People are more committed to outside activities than they are to Church. Sunday School Teachers who consistently miss Sunday services and Wednesday Night services show their class a lack of COMMITMENT to God. There is a Responsibility that comes with accepting a job for God.

We need COMMITMENT from our men to be a part of this great work for God- Upkeep, Service to others, run the Camera and PA, take the leadership in going forward for God.

We need COMMITMENT to consistent attendance. God has given this Church one of the greatest Opportunities we could ask for. We don’t need just “warm bodies”; we need COMMITTED CHRISTIANS who will be faithful to Sing, Serve, Pray, and take their place in the Body of Christ.

Are you a “Warming Wife” Christian??? God calls you today to become His Bride- with all the Joys and Rewards that brings. How sad it would be to live with the King, sleep in His bed, and yet be cast into exile. Jesus invites you to come accept Him as Savior and become part of the Body of Christ- The Two become One! Will YOU make this commitment?

IKings 01:1 Abishag, The Warming Wife

THE FIVE AREAS THAT MAKE UP A COMPLETE CHURCH:

1. WORSHIP- Upward to God

2. STUDY OF THE WORD- Downward from God

3. FELLOWSHIP- Around with Man

4. EVANGELISM- Outward to Man

5. SERVICE- Man work for God to Show God

We know a few things about this “Warming Wife”, Abishag.

1. Her MORALS- We know she was a woman of high morals because she was a virgin.

2. Her BEAUTY- We know she was a woman of great beauty because she was chosen above all the other girls of Israel and the scriptures say she was very beautiful.

3. Her FUNCTION- To Care for the King and keep him warm.

How do you stop being a “Warming Wife”? How do you change from being a “warm body” into a vital member of the Body of Christ?

I. DESIRE- Abishag and King David lay in the same bed but there was no desire to have an intimate relationship. The very essence of “Lukewarm Christianity” is satisfaction with the world. Rich, increased with goods, and having need of nothing; you don’t mind sharing a little warmth but you really don’t want to spend the time and energy necessary to build a relationship (And you can rest assured, it takes time and effort).

It takes DESIRE to have a Daily Devotion. It takes DESIRE to get up and get to Church. It takes DESIRE to change your Christianity from a Religion into a Relationship.

II. COMMITMENT- Abishag didn’t marry the King, she only served him. As a Result, she was excluded from Rights and Rewards. Many Christians need to make a COMMITMENT to God and Church that is just as binding as a marriage COMMITMENT is supposed to be (I’m talking about supposed to be, not the way it’s made today).

IKings 02:1 4 WHAT AM I DOING HERE??

Looking over the goals that many of you gave at the beginning of the year I can see some progress- The main goal stated for the church was an active Youth Ministry. We now have that in a working growing Beginner Church and Junior Church. Another goal was the remodeling of the Church- We have finished the front and hope to make a large “Children’s Church” room in the Fellowship Building in the near future (Also listed in this category was doing some work on the Church shrubbery, we plan to accomplish this THIS WEEK!). The personal goals of increased Bible Study, Witnessing, and Prayer time I can only guess at but I have noted an increased desire among many people to become more actively involved in working for the Lord (Usually a sign of increased Spiritual Growth); as well as more visitors in the Church and more contacts in the community.

We still have some “gaps” in our Ministry to Teens and Young Adults, as well as in our Music, but God will provide us the Programs and People we need for these in His perfect time.

This is sort of what David was doing in today’s text. He knew that he had to “go the way of all the earth” and he was trying to point his son, the new king, in the proper direction.

There are 2 basic needs of every person: Security and Acceptance. There are 2 basic Motivations of People: Love and Laws (One motivates from within the other from without)

IKings 02:28-34 THE MAN WHO CAME TO THE ALTAR TOO LATE

Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father. And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah. Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD. So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness (1 Kings 2:28-34).

I am a saved child of God and I am thankful beyond word for the MERCY and FORGIVENESS of God. I have made more mistakes than I have fingers, toes, and elbows and, yet, God has forgiven me and I remain a child of God today- Glory! I do not live in fear of losing my salvation; I live in faith in the Love of God and rejoice in the Goodness of God.

There is something that troubles me today, however. I believe that people have lost their fear of, and respect for, God. I believe that many have come to believe in a “cheap easy believism” religion that they obtain by simply saying, “I believe”. There is no cost, no cross, and no change in their life except that they start hanging with the “church crowd” on most Sundays. God is not involved in their life except as a “help insurance” policy they wave when they get into trouble and a “hell insurance” policy they expect to point out to God when they die.

I am troubled by sinners who sit in Church Sunday after Sunday with hard hearts during every invitation saying, “God is just a senile old man who does not really matter. All I have to do is live like I want until the last moment and then tell God I believe just before I die”.

I am a FWB. I believe in the possibility of Apostasy. I believe Heb 10:38 is still in the Bible: Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. I believe if the Prodigal Son would have stayed in the hog pen he would have died away from the Father. (He did not and he found the Father waiting with open arms).

I believe John 6:44 makes it clear we must come to God on HIS terms and at HIS time: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. I believe many banged on the door of the ark when the rain began to fall but a just and loving God kept the door closed.

I believe there is a line you can cross that you cannot uncross. In the physical world- When the look is followed by the lust which leads to the lay then the marriage ends in Divorce. You are sorry for what you did but the child support still comes due each month. Anger can lead to bitterness which can lead to murder. You are as sorry but the person is still dead and the jail cell is still a tough place to call home. God can forgive these actions but consequences come.

Joab thought he could run to the altar and suddenly everything would be alright but he found himself like Esau- Hebrews 12:15-17 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Listen to What God has to Say:

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:15).

Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them (Jeremiah 11:11).

Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings (Micah 3:4).

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).

Let us notice a few who were close to the door but perished.

1). “YOU MAY MAKE AN OFFERING LIKE CAIN” “AND YET BE LOST”

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell (Gen 4:5). Self Effort/self Will. You don’t want to come by the way of the cross (Foolish)

2). “YOU MAY WEEP LIKE ESAU IN REPENTANCE” “AND YET BE LOST”

HEB 12:16-17 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Some things can’t be changed. God can forgive ANY sin but there are some results of sin you must live with. Esau was sorry he had sold his birth right but it was still gone. At the Judgement there will be plenty of weeping but Judgement will still come.

3). “YOU MAY LEAVE SODOM LIKE LOT’S WIFE:” “AND YET BE LOST”

GEN 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Some leave the presence of sin but never give up the desire for sin.

4). “YOU MAY MAKE LONG PRAYERS LIKE THE PHARISEES: “AND YET BE LOST” MAT 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Saying without Being

5). “YOU MAY TREMBLE LIKE FELIX:” “AND YET BE LOST”

ACT 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Conviction is not conversion.

6). “YOU MAY BOW AT JESUS’ FEET LIKE THE RICH YOUNG RULER:” “AND YET BE LOST”– Mark 10:17-22 vs 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. Coming to the Cross is not accepting Christ. You must turn from the old way and trust Christ.

7). “YOU MAY BE ALMOST A CHRISTIAN LIKE AGRIPPIA:” “AND YET BE LOST”– ACT 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. On the Brink of Blessing you must make the next step. God has provided all His part. Now you must decide to come- or be lost!!

I believe the first born of those who ignored God’s command to put the blood on their door died on Passover night. I believe the nailed scarred hand that offers mercy and forgiveness to “whosoever will” today will soon hold a mighty sword as the King of kings comes to destroy all who rejected Him and rebelled against His rule. I believe God said, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2).

What should you do??

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7).

The Unseen Line

There is a time, we know not when,
A point we know not where,
That marks the destiny of men
To glory or despair.
There is a line by us unseen,
That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath.
How long may we go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and

Where begins despair?
An answer from the skies is sent;
“Ye that from God depart,
While it is called today, repent,
And harden not your heart.”
Dr. J. Addison Alexander

IKings 12:12-15 DIVIDED KINGDOM

Our Scripture this week begins with the Death of Solomon and the dividing of the Kingdom of Israel. The country is divided into the NORTHERN KINGDOM of Israel with its capital (eventually) at Samaria. This Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 of the Tribes of Israel and is led in its revolt by Jeroboam. There is NEVER a good King of Israel. They are on the downward path from the very beginning.

The SOUTHERN KINGDOM of Judah is led by the descendants of David (Rehoboam) and consist of the tribe of Benjamin and Judah. The capital is Jerusalem and the temple (with the Levites) is part of this country. It has some good and some bad kings (It is the subject of First and Second Chronicles).

All of this historical data is informative as well as instructional but I want us today to see some of the reasons the Kingdom was divided. Then I want us to apply these principles in our life today to prevent the division of our focus or our family.

I. REHOBOAM FOLLOWED BAD ADVICE. The counsel of the young men. (See Value of Advisors on P635)

II. GOD HAD ALREADY SPOKEN ABOUT THIS MATTER. We don’t want to be found fighting against God.

III. BEGINING YOUR OWN RELIGION I Kings 12:26-33 Jeroboam had just rebeled against Rehoboam and established the northern kingdom of Isreal (10 tribes compared to the 2 tribes in Judah). Now he begins to worry that the people will be won back to Rehoboam by attending the worship services at the Temple in Jerusalem (26-27). He decided to establish his own religion to combat this and in so doing shows us the way that most cults and false religions in the world are established.

I. Power Struggle- vs 26-27 Jeroboam wanted to rule a kindgom. Most Church problems and Cult beginnings come from this same type attitude. Certain groups or people are not given the power or praise they think they deserve and they decide to “take their marbles” and go somewhere else.

They will normally find some fault (real or imagined) to make a rallying point. They will then go around in the Church or community and seek all the support they can enlist to help them in their cause (vs 28 “the king took counsel”).

II. Misuse of Scripture- vs 28 Jeroboam built 2 golden calves and quoted Aaron from Exodus 32:4 when he said, “These be thy gods, O Isreal, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt”. Aaron was wrong(!) and Jeroboam used his wrong statement. False religions always misquote and take out of Context what God is trying to say.

III. Convenience instead of a Cross- vs 29-30 Jeroboam built 2 “Golden calves” and set one on either end of the country so the people would not have to travel so far to worship. It’s surprising how many people will “sell their souls” to avoid discomfort

(Remember Esau sold his birthright to satisfy his hunger).

IV. Dishonoring God’s Man- vs 31 Jeroboam made “priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi”. Preachers become “lightning rods” when people have a power struggle in the Church and his character and office become “fair game” for every pot shot people want to take. Cults tend to make the office of preacher very unimportant except for the “Big cheese” who is all important.

V. Substituting Man’s customs for God’s Commands- vs 32-33 Jeroboam decided to have a feast “which he devised of his own heart” (33). God ordains feasts and customs to illustrate Spiritual Principles and to show Spiritual Truths. Man makes customs to satisfy his own selfish interest.

THE ANSWER- Chapter 13:1 there came a man of God out of Judah by (with) the word of the Lord unto Bethel…”. God sent His word of warning by His messenger. You can heed God and return to His Way or you can continue in your own way and perish.

IKings 12:26 33 BEGINNING YOUR OWN RELIGION

I Kings 12:26 33 Jeroboam had just rebelled against Rehoboam and established the northern kingdom of Israel (10 tribes compared to the 2 tribes in Judah). Now he begins to worry that the people will be won back to Rehoboam by attending the worship services at the Temple in Jerusalem (26 27). He decided to establish his own religion to combat this and in so doing shows us the way that most cults and false religions in the world are established.

I. Power Struggle- vs 26 27 Jeroboam wanted to rule a kindgom. Most Church problems and Cult beginnings come from this same type attitude. Certain groups or people are not given the power or praise they think they deserve and they decide to “take their marbles” and go somewhere else.

They will normally find some fault (real or imagined) to make a rallying point. They will then go around in the Church or community and seek all the support they can enlist to help them in their cause (vs 28 “the king took counsel”).

II. Misuse of Scripture- vs 28 Jeroboam built 2 golden calves and quoted Aaron from Exodus 32:4 when he said, “These be thy gods, O Isreal, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt”. Aaron was wrong(!) and Jeroboam used his wrong statement. False religions always misquote and take out of Context what God is trying to say.

III. Convenience instead of a Cross- vs 29 30 Jeroboam built 2 “Golden calves” and set one on either end of the country so the people would not have to travel so far to worship. It’s surprising how many people will “sell their souls” to avoid discomfort

(Remember Esau sold his birthright to satisfy his hunger).

IV. Dishonoring God’s Man- vs 31 Jeroboam made “priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi”. Preachers become “lightning rods” when people have a power struggle in the Church and his character and office become “fair game” for every pot shot people want to take. Cults tend to make the office of preacher very unimportant except for the “Big cheese” who is all important.

V. Substituting Man’s customs for God’s Commands- vs 32 33 Jeroboam decided to have a feast “which he devised of his own heart” (33). God ordains feasts and customs to illustrate Spiritual Principles and to show Spiritual Truths. Man makes customs to satisfy his own selfish interest.

THE ANSWER- Chapter 13:1 there came a man of God out of Judah by (with) the word of the Lord unto Bethel…”. God sent His word of warning by His messenger. You can heed God and return to His Way or you can continue in your own way and perish.

IKings 17: 1-7 BIRD BEAK BREAD

I was able to win three Converts in Napal during a service. They were immediately told that their life would be difficult now! Sometimes serving God is not easy. The two main problems faced by the Church today are:

1) Unbelievers who don’t believe they can “hold out” so they will not come to Christ.

2) Christians who are disappointed in the Church and in God because Christianity has not been the easy road they thought it would be. (Book of Hebrews written to address this issue.).

Look at Elijah’s situation:

1) Obeyed the Lord and proclaimed a drought.

2) Forced to hide for his life.

3) Daily received bread and flesh- from bird beak!!

4) Finally his water supply dried up as a result of the drought he had proclaimed!!

How do you make lemonade out of those lemons!

The 4 rules for making a Bird Beak Bread Day into a good day:

1) Begin the Day with a smile. I know you want to kick me for saying that but remember “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118:24 ). Rejoice in the fact that God has given you another day even if you can=t rejoice in the circumstances that day may bring.

2) Expect a daily blessing.

A) Daily Benefit- (Psalms 68:19) Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.

B) Daily Bread- Jesus taught us to pray for the Father to “Give us this day our daily bread”. This simply means we are to look each day for God to provide what we need for that day. Sometimes looking at bitterness instead of expecting blessings makes us overlook the bread when it is provided.

3) Find someone to help every day- (Heb 3:13) But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. It is amazing what a difference it makes when you reach out to others instead of crawling into a shell of personal pain and self pity.

4) Live each day for God- Lu 9:23 He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Put God first and it will be a GOOD day.

The drought brought Israel to Repentance.

The Bird Bread showed God’s Love every day

The dried up brook provided food for a widow and her son- as well as the preacher!

God can take your bird beak bread day and turn it into a wonderful day. Come to Him right now.

IKings 19:10 I Only

Elijah’s depression brought him to say, “I Only”. In a society where everyone is concerned with “I”, it’s very unusual to hear someone speak concerning the importance of “I.” But for tonight, I want to speak about the importance of “I” only in Christian service.

I. SALVATION is personal. Nothing is more so. Notice Rom 10:9 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. Salvation is a plea for your life to be changed, (lifestyles, friends, job, etc.) It is an “I only” situation that no one else can do for you. “What must “I” do to be saved?” “I only”

II. DISCIPLESHIP is also an “I only” thing. Notice II Tim.4:6 8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.

To have an ending like this, there must be a right beginning. Mt.16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Sometimes, tho, you feel like Elijah, “I only am left.”

e.g. TEENAGERS a. dating b. coming to church c. resisting temptations CHRISTIANS ON THE JOB a. almost everyone, including professing Christians, joking, partying, etc. b. the continual pressure to “sleep around etc.”

SOMETIMES EVEN AT CHURCH a. teachers trying to teach students that seem not to care

b. preachers trying to preach to half- asleep saints, etc.

It just makes you feel like “I only” care sometimes.

Then that makes you wonder, “What difference can I make?” Ill. “Great battle won, only one lost” -one key – one link “I” really can make a difference.

III. REVIVAL is an “I only” thing. (This is the subject I wanted to get to)

Here is how YOU, “I only”, can make a difference:

1. The obvious, be faithful this week. This is more important than shopping, ball game, etc.

2. REALLY invite others. It would make a difference if you acted like you really meant it.

3. Pray – a continual attitude of prayer.

4 (And this is the point I really wanted to get to) “I only” be revived. How long has it been since you

a. remembered your commitment? God hasn’t forgotten.

b. were broken over conditions in your home, your church, your own lack of submission

c. had “joy” of salvation (it only comes when you’re totally committed to God’s will for your life)

Torrey said, “A revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat.” When “I only” is ready for revival, God is longing to send it to him.

IKings 19:- THE CURE FOR THE BLUES

Elijah, the great man of God, had burst on the scene in Chapter 17 and had turned the nation of Israel upside down with drought and fire and rain. You would think that such a hero would never have a weak moment but we see today that Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. (James 5:17). What caused his “blues” and how did God cure them?

I.THE CAUSE OF THE BLUES- Jezebel threatened to kill him! He expected to be acknowledged but instead was attacked.(Just like people get upset at Christmas when they give a gift and the receiver tells them they wanted something else!)

1. He did not think realistically or clearly­ He seemed to forget that God has protected him so far and put a women’s words above Gods.

2. He separated himself from strengthening relationships- Discouraged people are lonely people. Just when we need companionship to help in a problem we tend to clam up.

3. He suffered the letdown that normally follows a victory- You climb the mountain for the view but you can’t live there.

4. He was physically exhausted and mentally spent (That’s why so many people have “Christmas Blues”)- He failed to acknowledge the strain that pressure has put on him both physically and mentally.

5. He submitted to Self-Pity- Because he established unrealistic standards (He expected one victory to win the war). Hany people expect the “Christmas season” to suddenly cure family problems that have brewed all year (Until they have to spent all day together!).

II. THE CURE

1. Rest and Refreshment- Notice that there was no sermon (yet!). Being told he ought not feel blue would not cure his blues! He first of all needed to “recharge” his body. Depression is a NATURAL result of exhaustion- it’s the body’s way of telling us it needs rest.

2. Reflection- What are you doing here Elijah?” God used a question to get Elijah to name his problem. You must identify your problem before you can solve it, (Be careful you don’t name the Fruit instead of the Root! Are you sad because you didn’t get a present or because you don’t feel loved???

3. Revelation of God- Not in wind or earth­quake or fire but in a still small voice. A relationship with God is a Life; not one exciting experience. It is not just accepting the truth that God WILL save you, but living a new life based on the fact that He has saved you. He had to clearly see who was in control again.

4. Renewal of his Task- (Rekindle the vision).

-New King was to be anointed (If the King would not change, God would change Kings! And HIS program would go on)

-New Assistant to be trained. This gave him Hope for the future. Companionship right now and a channel for future progress.

-New awareness of God’s faithful people. This provided help and encouragement right now. His work hadn’t been in vain, It had accomplished something. He just hadn’t seen it yet.

Don’t be Blue—Be a Blessing.

IKings 19: DISCOURAGING DISCOURAGEMENT

Elijah, the great man of God, had burst on the scene in Chapter 17 and had turned the nation of Israel upside down with drought and fire and rain. You would think that such a hero would never have a weak moment but Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are: (James 5:17) and he ended up so discouraged until he ran away from his ministry. Let us see what caused Elijah’s discouragement and learn how we can “Discourage Discouragement” in our own life.

I. The Cause of the Discouragement: Jezebel threatened to kill him! Elijah expected to be applauded for his victory but instead he was attacked. This attack led to Discouragement because Elijah:

A) Did not think realistically or clearly. God had protected him and provided for him during the drought and had produced fire on the mountain and rain for the country in answer to his prayers. Now he put a woman’s threat above God’s protection. This is the let down that often follows a victory.

B) Separated himself from strengthening relationships- He ran away into the desert and then hid in a cave by himself. Just when people need companionship to help in a problem they tend to clam up.

C) Allowed himself to become physically and mentally exhausted. He had lived under great stress for a year as he hid from the king. The confrontation on the mountain had been very stressful. Even God knows that 6 days of creation means you need to rest for a day!

D) Submitted to Self Pity- “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I think I will eat worms!”. Elijah expected this one victory to win the war. People have unrealistic expectations and they get despondent when things do not go as they expected.

II. The Cure for Discouragement: God did not preach to Elijah or tell him to “perk up and do better”. He provided what was needed in order for Elijah to regain his “balance” in life.

A) Get Rest and Refreshment- God knew that Elijah needed to recharge his body before he could begin to think correctly. Depression is a NATURAL result of exhaustion- it is the body’s way of telling you that it needs rest (not just sleep. The mind needs to relax; and many things on TV bring stress instead of relaxation).

B) Name your Problem- “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God used a question to get Elijah to name his problem. You must identify your problem before you can solve it. (Be careful that you do not name the fruit of the problem instead of the root of the problem!). Are you discouraged because the bills are piling up or because you think God has failed or abandoned you?

C) Listen for God’s Voice- God was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. He spoke through a still small voice (We must learn to still our hearts enough to hear God). Elijah needed to clearly see again who was in control of circumstances and of him!

D) Rekindle your vision:

1) A new King was to be anointed (If the King would not change then God would change the King!)

2) A new Assistant was to be trained. This gave Elijah hope for the future, companionship for the present, and a channel for future progress.

3) A new awareness of God’s faithful people was given Elijah- It is not “I only am left” but 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Elijah’s work had not been in vain. It had accomplished something. He just had not seen the real results.

Don’t travel into the Desert of Discouragement. Remember that a valley is just a place between two mountains. Learn to stop trying to BE God and use your life to SERVE God.

IKings 20:1-4 ABSOLUTE SURRENDER

And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have. (1 Kings 20:1-4).

God Wants you Absolute Surrender- And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Exodus 20:1-7).

God Works it- Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).

God Waits it and calls for you to make that decision of Absolute Surrender today.