Armed to the Teeth with a Sling Shot!

April 6th, 2021

Armed To The Teeth

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

Have you ever felt out gunned by the forces of darkness? Have you walked into a situation feeling like you are charging Hell with a squirt gun or perhaps facing a 9 foot tall soldier with nothing but a sling shot and 5 stones? Fear is a crippling force that causes us to underestimate the power of the weapons in our possession. Believers often shrink away from the victory for which we have been equipped and prepared because our trust is in the physical tools and skills we possess rather than the God that enables us and empowers us to use those tools.

The name of the message tonight comes from an ancient idiom. The phrase originated in the 14th century and referred to knights who wore head to foot armour. However, it became popular in the mid 1800s, and was used for weapons only at first. Now it is also used figuratively.

According to one another thought the idiom was actually generated in Port Jamaica in 1600’s and was associated with the pirates of that time. They were supposed to be armed with maximum weapons to fight with their rivals. To be well equipped they also kept a small knife in their teeth which helps them during the fighting.

Source: theidioms.com

For the next few minutes let us examine how in the world David could have the confidence to face Goliath. Let us discover together how this 17 year old shepherd boy could face a 9 foot tall warrior unafraid. How could David stride out into battle when everyone else ran? How could David face Goliath like this shepherd boy was armed to the teeth?

Personal Armor

Familiar Armor

1 Samuel 17:32–37 KJV

And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 

And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 

And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 

And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 

Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

Psalm 18:16–17 KJV

He sent from above, he took me, He drew me out of many waters. 

He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Psalm 63:7 KJV

Because thou hast been my help, Therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Psalm 138:3 KJV

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

Not someone else’s armor

1 Samuel 17:38–39 KJV

And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 

And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

Hosea 1:7 KJV

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.

Zechariah 4:6 KJV

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, Saith the LORD of hosts.

Prepared Armor

1 Samuel 17:40 KJV

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

God can use anything as a weapon when He empowers the one that wields it.

 • The Shepherd’s staff – that protected from wolves and wrangled wandering sheep.

 • Smooth stones – God had been preparing those rocks, smoothing out the rough edges for years just for this moment.

 • Sling – the weapon he knew

Judges 3:31 KJV

And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

Judges 15:15–16 KJV

And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 

And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, With the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

God’s Enemies will make fun of your faith and your weapon.

1 Samuel 17:41–44 KJV

And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 

And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 

And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 

And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

Powered Armor

 • Power in the Name of the Lord

1 Samuel 17:45 KJV

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

 • The Lord will deliver

1 Samuel 17:46 KJV

This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

 • I will cut off your head

 • I don’t need a sword to do it

 • Everyone will know the Battle is the Lord’s!

1 Samuel 17:47–50 KJV

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands. 

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 

And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

Death was handled differently in the ancient world. An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural history museum.

“I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!” the excited scientist exclaimed.

To which the curator replied, “Bring him in. We’ll check it out.”

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. “You were right about the mummy’s age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?”

“Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ‘10,000 Shekels on Goliath’.”

The moral of the story: Don’t bet on Goliath and his huge broadsword when God has send David armed to the teeth with a sling and 5 stones.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:11 PM April 6, 2021.

This is Love That Forgives Sin

April 2nd, 2021

This is Love That Forgives Sin

Pastor Don Carpenter

***This is Love / Romans 5:6–8

Easter Message

Love is one of the most powerful emotions we have. The actress Joan Crawford once said “Love is a fire but whether it warms your heart or burns your house down, you can never tell!” Love can motivate, give pleasure, hurt even destroy. It can make us do bold, even stupid things. During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell’s heart was touched and he said, “Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!”

Romans 5:6–8 KJV

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before there could be a Resurrection, there had to be a Crucifixion. Before Easter Sunday there had to be a Good Friday. The story comes as a package deal. The Gospel includes three essential elements.

1 Corinthians 15:3–4 KJV

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

It was not fate that sent Jesus to the Cross. It was not Pilate, Judas, the Jews or the Romans that sent Jesus to the Cross. It was our sin, our hopelessness, and His Great Love that sent Jesus to the Cross. This is love that forgives sins!

The Story of Love – The Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:1–4 KJV

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Jesus died for our sins – because we are sinners.

Jesus was buried for sins.

Jesus Rose again to complete the atonement.

 • All was according to Scriptures.

Isaiah 53:4–6 KJV

Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 

But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed. 

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way; And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The Object of Love – Hopeless Sinners

Romans 5:6–8 KJV

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 • Without Strength – could not save ourselves

Isaiah 64:6 KJV

But we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; And we all do fade as a leaf; And our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Romans 3:20 KJV

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

James 2:10–11 KJV

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

 • Without an Advocate – no other person could take our place

Hebrews 7:26–27 KJV

For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 

Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

 • We became the object of his demonstrated love.

Revelation 1:5 KJV

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

The Power of Love – The Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:14–17 KJV

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 

Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Jesus had to be pure in order to act as a High Priest – Mary was told not to touch Jesus

John 20:11–17 KJV

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Jesus finished that act and eight days later Jesus told men to go ahead and touch Him

John 20:26–28 KJV

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.

The Blood had been applied on the Mercy seat in Heaven. – Jesus Had to Rise Again in order to act as our High Priest and Apply His Blood for Us

Hebrews 9:11–14 KJV

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 • There is a Mercy Seat in Heaven

 • Jesus entered Heaven with His own blood

 • Redemption was obtained when the Blood was applied

 • The Blood stains the mercy seat, purging you from dead works

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns. One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns.

When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved. Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Beverly said, “Why yes I do.” Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?” Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.” Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.”

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?” Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.” With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.” Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!” Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse. Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut”. She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you.” Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work. I’m not interested.” Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.” Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.” One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day.” Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, ‘Do you believe in Easter?’ but you have never asked me.” Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked…”

Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?” Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.” Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?” Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.” Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!” Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies ecause she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter. When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed. That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There was a sweet smile on her face.

When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead. Her left hand was on 

John 14:1 KJV

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

 Her right hand was on 

Revelation 21:4 KJV

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down here cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith – Happy Easter!” Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

This is Love – The Forgiveness of Sins

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:57 PM April 2, 2021.

Good Friday Service 7:00 PM

March 29th, 2021

Join us for some passionate worship and soul stirring meditation from God’s Word about the greatest gift ever given, God’s Only Son. Invite your friends and family to revisit the greatest act of love ever demonstrated to man.

Tomorrow is the last day for non perishable food donations.

March 27th, 2021

Sunday March 28 is the last day we will be collecting for Friendly Hands Food Bank

Join Us For Palm Sunday Worship!

March 27th, 2021

March 28, 2021 is Palm Sunday and we are ready to celebrate King Jesus! Join us at 11:00 for Singing, Testimonies, and Soul Stirring Preaching. Spring is a season of new life! It is time to worship God together in person.

A Slippery Slope

March 23rd, 2021

A Slippery Slope

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Judges 3:5–7

A hunter went out into the forest to shoot a bear. With winter fast approaching he planned to make a warm coat out of the bearskin. Soon he saw a bear coming toward him, he raised his gun and took aim.

“Wait,” said the bear, “why do you want to shoot me?”

The hunter replied: “Because I am cold.”

The bear replied “But I am hungry, so maybe we can reach an agreement.”

In the end, the hunter was well enveloped with the bear’s fur, and the bear had eaten his dinner.

The point: Disobedience (even partial) is sin, and we will always lose out when we try to compromise with sin! It will consume us in the end.

___

This week, in our 2021 Bible Reading challenge, we have been reading about the cyclical fall, judgement, repentance, and deliverance of the Children of Israel. It is easy for us to sit back and wonder how a people could be so thick as to turn from God so quickly. But the reality is it only takes a generation to completely change directions. Tonight we are going to look at three signs that one is on the Slippery Slope of Wickedness.

Become Comfortable With Carnality.

Judges 3:5 KJV

And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words To Dwell

yashab (??????, 3427), “to dwell, sit, abide, inhabit, remain.”

Starts By Stopping the Good

Deuteronomy 6:4–9 KJV

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 

And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Continues With Being Fascinated With Sin

Genesis 13:12 KJV

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Proverbs 23:17 KJV

Let not thine heart envy sinners: But be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

Completes With Comfort

Psalm 1:1 KJV

Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

walk, stand, and sit. This verbal progression depicts a regression from moving—to stationary—to sitting. Perhaps the idea is that sin is a temptation that one first tries out, later becomes accustomed to, and finally becomes a habit or lifestyle. Many have noted that the verbs walk, stand, and sit also call to mind the positive commandment in Deut. 6:4–9 that the person of faith is to keep the commandments of God in mind while at home and away, while coming and going. 

Become Comfortable With Compromise

Judges 3:6 KJV

And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

Genesis 6:4–6 KJV

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Exodus 34:16 KJV

And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

Deuteronomy 7:3–4 KJV

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 

For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

2 Corinthians 6:14–17 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Become Comfortable With Corruption

Judges 3:7 KJV

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

 • Did evil

 • Forgot God

 • Served Baalim

When we compromise with the world we lose our fellowship with God. A former Dean of St Paul’s, W R Inge, famously observed that any church that enters into a marriage with the spirit of the age “will soon find itself a widow in the next”.

How in the world does a people go from worshipping God to sacrificing to idols in one generation? How can churches that once preached the Gospel now reject the authority of Scripture? It happens when we allow ourselves to become comfortable, first with carnality, then with compromise and finally with corruption. That it the Slippery Slope.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:06 PM March 23, 2021.

Ask, Seek, Knock

March 20th, 2021

Ask, Seek Knock

Pastor Don Carpenter

What Are You Looking For? / Matthew 7:7–8

Pastor Jack Kale tells the following story:

The rain forced us inside for our annual family Easter egg hunt, but we had a blast anyway. The kids started by hiding 120 eggs in the kitchen and den while the adults played cards in the dining room. Gangee, Pap-Pap, Uncle Paul, Aunt Kathryn, my beautiful wife, and I grabbed our baskets and waited for the count. Three, two, one, go! The women dashed into the kitchen while the men opted for the den. I found my first egg hiding in the kleenex box. I heard the giggles of the women as they fought over who found whichever egg first. Sandra won with 29. I came in second with 25. I forget how the rest fell out.

Then it was our turn. We ordered the kids to their rooms and began to hide our eggs. Some yellow ones went in the matching flower bouquet on the the counter and among the lemons by the hearth. The white one replaced a light bulb in a lamp. We unzipped couch pillows and stuffed them inside. We hid green ones in the houseplants and I stuffed a blue one down a rolled up blue yoga mat. Hiding Easter eggs will bring out your devious side, but it sure is fun.

My favorite part was watching the kids find the hard ones. I think they felt the same way watching us. “They found the one in the fireplace!” they would shout. We cheered “You’re getting colder…. Colder…warmer… you’re burning up!” It was such a blast to watch their excitement as the found the difficult ones. We hid and we found. It was awesome.

Deep in the human soul lives a bloodhound who loves the search. It’s what drives us to study more deeply and ask more intently. It forces us to consider what is right, noble, and true. It begs us for philosophical walks into what matters in life. Its why a three year old asks why only to follow up with another “why” when you have answered the question. It’s why we read whodunits and what has made google so valuable. Its why we love a good Easter egg hunt.

Yet, the Easter egg hunt has reminded me of the joy of celebrating other’s discoveries. Watching others find their purpose and passion is really rewarding. Watching a child learn to ride a bike is just as powerful as learning yourself. In life we often walk with folks as they find their own answers to the tough questions that living throws our way. It’s easy to celebrate with others when they find the missing puzzle pieces of life. Finding life’s truth together can build relationships and bring clarity to each of us.

Just like Easter eggs, truth can be found in the some really difficult hiding places. Through the loss of loved ones recently, I have found the love of new friends and ones that I had forgotten. Facing financial pains in our past, our family found peace and contentment with what we had. Dealing with suicides, cancer, alzheimer’s, depressions, divorces, bankruptcies, and addictions have revealed life’s most colorful and beautiful Easter eggy truths. My experience has taught me that these eggs have been found best with those I love.

Some of us seem to be better at hiding truth than finding it, but life is really about the searching. Life has already hidden so much from plain view that we would be better served by searching. Look for the little Easter eggs that life sends your way. Thomas Moore wrote a whole book on Re-enchantment with Everyday Life as he examined the hidden truths that we can find if we simply look at life through curious eyes. Jesus said it this way: “Seek and you will find” (Matthew 7:7).

My guess is that you are looking for something right now that’s more important than your car keys or plastic eggs. You are looking for truth and relevance. You want to make a difference in the world and you want to matter. You want to scratch that itch that keeps calling you to take a risk and follow your dreams. You want to find true love. You are searching for answers to life’s tough questions. You are on a quest to find your place in this world. You are desperate for opportunities and options. You are a searcher. You are a seeker.

Today, I invite you to let that bloodhound loose in your life. Get busy looking for that silver lining in the clouds of your life. Keep questioning those easy answers that seem to satisfy everyone but you. Keep wrestling with the why’s and why not’s. Explore the corners of your soul as you figure out what makes you tick this way and why others just seem to tock. Peer through the clouds of doubt with binoculars of faith and hope. Look for the good in other people; it’s too easy to find faults. Keep looking. Keep searching and don’t give up till you’ve found all those Easter eggs that life has in store you.

___

For the next two Sunday nights we are going to ask the question, “What Are You Looking For?” Jesus gives us some encouragement about how to get things from our Loving Father. Tonight we will see that it takes some persistence and action on our part. We need to Ask, Seek, and Knock.

Matthew 7:7–8 KJV

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Ask

Psalm 10:17 KJV

LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

John 15:7 KJV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

For Deliverance

Psalm 50:15 KJV

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

For Forgiveness

Psalm 86:5 KJV

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; And plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

It Shall be Given

Matthew 21:22 KJV

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Psalm 145:18–19 KJV

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, To all that call upon him in truth. 

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.

There is an old story about how the University of Chicago received a million-dollar grant from the heiress of a major department store. She had been a student at Northwest. So, administrators of Northwest went to visit her and asked why she had not made such a gift to her alma mater. Her answer was simple, “The people at the University of Chicago asked. You did not.”

Seek, Then You Will Find

The Lord’s Presence

Isaiah 55:6–7 KJV

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.

Jeremiah 29:13 KJV

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Psalm 27:8 KJV

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

The Lord’s Will

Matthew 6:33 KJV

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Psalm 10:4 KJV

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psalm 69:32 KJV

The humble shall see this, and be glad: And your heart shall live that seek God.

Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. 

In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.

Knock and It Will Be Opened

Revelation 3:7 KJV

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

1 Corinthians 16:9 KJV

For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

2 Corinthians 2:12 KJV

Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

Colossians 4:3 KJV

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

All too often we believers have access to great riches in Christ, but we have failed put in the effort to appropriate those riches. When we ask, we are to be importunate until we receive. When we seek, we need to keep looking until we find. When we knock we need to keep knocking until the right door opens.

“In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”

Ask, Seek, Knock!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:39 AM March 20, 2021.

Pray Like This – Part 1

March 19th, 2021

Pray Like This – Part 1

Pastor Don Carpenter

When You Pray / Matthew 6:9–10

A woman called a pastor to come to the house to see her father. He goes to the house not knowing whether the man is Christian or not but he notices as he talks to him and the man answers back that he must be a Christian and there is a chair sitting close by. An empty chair. He asks “What’s the chair for and the man said, “Well, I’ll tell you, but I won’t tell my daughter, she’ll think I’m crazy. I’ve always had trouble praying. I knew a man in my early years who said to me, ‘All you need to do is put an empty chair in front of you and prayer is nothing more than talking to God. And why don’t you imagine God sitting in that chair and you just talk to him.'” And so he said, “I put an empty chair there and started talking to the chair as if God was there and it got so good that I just do it now hours sometime at a time and just talk to God and God talks to me and my soul is blessed by His divine grace.” And he said, “If I tell my daughter, she’ll think I’m losing my mind.”

Some months later, the man died. When the Pastor came to visit the family, he said to the daughter, “How did he die? What happened to him?” She said, “Well, the sickness just finally got him. But the strangest way we found him. When I came in, he was dead, but there’s a chair sitting beside the bed and I noticed that he had pushed himself out of the bed and put his head in the chair and died there with his head in the chair.”

___

Last week we started a three week series that looks at Jesus’ advice about prayer entitled “when You Pray”. We discovered that although prayer is not unique to Biblical Christianity, what makes Biblical Christianity different is that prayer is not merely a tool of the mind and psychology to get one in a certain meditative state; prayer is a dynamic, private, personal and intimate interaction with Almighty God.  

Biblical prayer is intimate. So when Jesus gave what is referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”, He was not prescribing a wrote formula to memorize and recite in direct contradiction to his advice in the previous verses. He was however, giving us the building blocks of what a Biblical prayer should look like for a believer. In the next two weeks we will discover what Jesus was trying to teach when He said, “Pray Like This”.

Open Your Prayer With Humble Worship

Matthew 6:9–10 KJV

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Acknowledge God’s Relationship To You

King James Version Chapter 6

Our Father which art in heaven

Everyone Does Not Have That Relationship to God

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

This Relationship Is Unique To Born Again Believers

John 1:12 KJV

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:16 KJV

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Prayer is to begin with worship. God is addressed as Our Father in heaven. Worship is the essence of all prayer. (In vv. 1–18 Jesus used the word “Father” 10 times! Only those who have true inner righteousness can address God in that way in worship.1

1 Louis A. Barbieri Jr., “Matthew,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 32.

___

A little boy was standing on the banks of the Mississippi River waving and shouting at a steamboat that was going by. He was beckoning the steamboat to come to shore.

A stranger came by and said, “That’s foolish young man. The boat will never come ashore for you. The captain is too busy to notice your waving and shouting.”

Just then, the boat turned and headed for shore. The little boy grinned and said to the stranger, “The captain is my daddy.”

The captain of the universe is our Abba. He’s our daddy. He pays attention to our petitions because he loves us. The first words in the Lord’s Prayer encourages us to call him, “Father.” He is the Lord of the universe as well as our daddy, but that doesn’t mean we should take him for granted any more than we should take our dads for granted. Thank you, Father.

Acknowledge God’s Holy Name

King James Version Chapter 6

Hallowed be thy name.

hagiazo (??????, 37), “to make holy” (from hagios, “holy”), signifies to set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of koinos, “common”; it is translated “Hallowed,” with reference to the name of God the Father in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2. See sanctify1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 287.

Hallowed be thy name. The word hallowed means to render or pronounce holy. God’s name is essentially holy; and the meaning of this petition is, “Let thy name be celebrated, venerated, and esteemed as holy everywhere, and receive from all men proper honour.” It is thus the expression of a wish or desire, on the part of the worshipper, that the name of God, or that God himself, should be held everywhere in proper veneration.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 66.

His Name Is Power

Philippians 2:9–11 KJV

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

His Name Is The Only Name For Salvation

Acts 4:10–12 KJV

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Psalm 111:9 KJV

He sent redemption unto his people: He hath commanded his covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is his name.

His Name Is Jesus

Exodus 3:14 KJV

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

John 8:56–58 KJV

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 

Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Isaiah 9:6 KJV

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Acknowledge God’s Will

Matthew 6:10 KJV

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

For The Future 

King James Version Chapter 6

Thy kingdom come

“Thy kingdom come,” looks on to the second advent of Christ when the kingdom of God will be established in power over all this world.1

1 H. A. Ironside, Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1948), 64.

Revelation 20:4 KJV

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

For Your Life

King James Version Chapter 6

Thy will be done

Tim Hansel in his book “When I Relax I feel Guilty,” writes some insights of what most people want from God.

“I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of Him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please.”

If we would be totally honest, the idea of transformation really scares us. That is because we know that such a radical change would be quite uncomfortable. We realize that with transformation comes a major overhaul of our lives and priorities.

(From a sermon by Scott Chambers, The Mission if You Accept it: Transformation, 2/15/2011)

Just like His will is done in Heaven.

Nehemiah 9:6 KJV

Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

Your Salvation

2 Peter 3:9 KJV

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

John 4:34–35 KJV

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Your Sanctification

1 Thessalonians 4:3 KJV

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

Mark 3:35 KJV

For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Your Submission

Matthew 26:42 KJV

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

An old sailor repeatedly got lost at sea, so his friends gave him a compass and urged him to use it. The next time he went out in his boat, he followed their advice and took the compass with him. But as usual he became hopelessly confused and was unable to find land. Finally, he was once again rescued by his friends.

Disgusted and impatient with him, they asked, “Why didn’t you use that compass we gave you? You could have saved us a lot of trouble!”

The sailor responded: “I didn’t dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast.”

That old sailor was so certain he knew which way was north, that he stubbornly tried to force his own personal persuasion on his compass. As a result he was unable to benefit from the guidance it offered.

Let us make sure we do not treat God like that man treated the compass; trying to manipulate him to work our way!

Remember the Lord’s prayer is:

“Thy will be done” not “Thy will be done my way”

From a sermon by Gordon Curley, Beware of Detours! 11/18/2010

We have a lot to learn about prayer, this personal, intimate communication between the Father and His children. This morning we have discovered that we need to take the time to humbly worship God before laying out our requests. We start with our relationship, then acknowledge His Holy name. After that we put all our desires and pleas behind while we first submit to His perfect plan for the right now and the not yet. These are some things we learn when we follow our Savior’s advice to “Pray Like This”.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:23 AM March 19, 2021.

COVID RESTRICTIONS LIFTED!

March 17th, 2021

Starting March 19 the State of Connecticut is allowing Churches to meet at 100% capacity! It is time to come back to church! Join us this Sunday March 21 as we celebrate the good news. We will also start in person Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting and Bible Study March 24. SEE YOU IN CHURCH!

*Distancing and masks are still required*

Now Therefore Arise!

March 17th, 2021

Now Therefore Arise!

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Joshua 1:1–5

Years ago a certain Englishman moved to the United States. Soon after he arrived he dropped out of sight. One day his uncle in England died and left him about a five–million dollar estate. Scotland Yard went about trying to locate the man whose last address had been in Chicago. They searched for him but never found him. Later I heard that he was found one morning frozen to death in an entryway of a cheap hotel. He could not afford twenty–five cents for a room although he was heir to five million dollars! He did not claim what was his. He did not lay hold of what belonged to him.

Although God gave Israel the Promised Land, they never possessed all of it. As a matter of fact, Israel got very little of the land. Many Christians today are like Israel in that they are blessed with all spiritual blessings and yet they die like bums in a doorway without claiming those blessings as their own.

 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: History of Israel (Joshua/Judges), electronic ed., vol. 10 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 14.

This must have been a terrifying time for Joshua. The leader who introduced God to him, who taught him the law, who he followed loyally for 40 years was dead. It was now up to Joshua to take this often rebellious and idolatrous crew into the promised land. He had to face giants and incredible odds without the leader he knew and loved. He had to do it as an older person. Surely there was a high level of anxiety and self doubt. On top of all that Joshua was probably grieving heavily, and you don’t feel like getting out of bed much less going to war when you are buried in grief. It was at that moment, at the point where Joshua could have been paralyzed with grief and fear that God came to him with a specific command.

Joshua 1:1–2 KJV

NOW after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 

Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Moses my servant is dead – therefore arise. This had to be a difficult command. That should have been enough. God does not need to talk us into obeying. However in his loving and gracious way, He gave Joshua reasons to cast aside his fear and sadness and rise up to the task to which he has been called.  

There comes a time after an intense trial, loss or other dark valley that God wants us to move on and move up. We are allowed to grieve from time to time. We are allowed to hide ourselves from evil. We are allowed to take a rest, to come apart alone. But there comes a time when we need to get moving again. There comes a time when we need to get back to the ministry… to get back to church.. to get back to serving the King. God would be completely within His rights to just demand that we “BUCK UP BUTTERCUP”… but in this passage God gives Joshua and to us who studies these words the truths he needs to strengthen him, and the truths that we need in order to enthusiastically respond to the command “Now Therefore Arise!” 

The Outcome Is Already Settled

Joshua 1:3 KJV

Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

 God didn’t give Joshua explanations as to how He would accomplish these things, because God’s people live on promises and not on explanations. When you trust God’s promises and step out by faith (v. 3), you can be sure that the Lord will give you the directions you need when you need them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 24.

 God has given them the land. The land is theirs, but their enjoyment of it depends upon their taking possession of it. That part of the land upon which they walked would belong to them. Comparatively speaking, we have been told in Ephesians 1:3 that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Unfortunately, very few Christians lay hold of the spiritual blessings that belong to them.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: History of Israel (Joshua/Judges), electronic ed., vol. 10 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 14.

Ephesians 1:3 KJV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 God had already given them the land; it was their responsibility now to step out by faith and claim it (Josh 1:3; see Gen. 13:14–18). The same promise of victory that God had given to Moses (Num. 11:22–25), He reaffirmed to Joshua; and He carefully defined the borders of the land. Israel didn’t reach that full potential until the reigns of David and Solomon.

  The lesson for God’s people today is clear: God has given us “all spiritual blessings … in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), and we must step out by faith and claim them. He has set before His church an open door that nobody can close (Rev. 3:8), and we must walk through that door by faith and claim new territory for the Lord. It is impossible to stand still in Christian life and service; for when you stand still, you immediately start going backward. “Let us go on!” is God’s challenge to His church (Heb. 6:1), and that means moving ahead into new territory.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 24–25.

The Boundaries were already set.

Joshua 1:4 KJV

From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

the Lebanon Territory north of Israel, roughly corresponds with modern-day Lebanon.

the land of the Hittites The Hittite Empire was centered in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) but controlled territory north of Lebanon (and north/northwest of the Euphrates). However, some ot references to Hittites are most likely referring to a group of native Canaanites, descendants of Heth, son of Canaan (1 Chr 1:13), and not to the Hittite Empire (see Gen 23:10; 27:46). The Canaanite Hittites are most likely meant here (compare Deut 7:1; Ezek 16:3). See note on Josh 3:10.

great sea The Mediterranean Sea.

in the west The west (where the sun sets).1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Jos 1:4.

The Pattern Has Already Been Established.

Promises Made in the Past

Genesis 12:7 KJV

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 15:18 KJV

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Deuteronomy 11:24 KJV

Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

Past Promises Kept – As I Was With Moses

Joshua 1:5 KJV

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Exodus 14:31 KJV

And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

 • Joshua

Genesis 28:14–15 KJV

And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 

And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

 • Gideon 

Judges 6:16 KJV

And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

 • Jewish Exiles

Isaiah 41:10 KJV

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Isaiah 43:5 KJV

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, And gather thee from the west;

A wise leader doesn’t completely abandon the past but builds on it as he or she moves toward the future. Moses is mentioned fifty-seven times in the Book of Joshua, evidence that Joshua respected Moses and what he had done for Israel.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 23.

No Man Will Be Able to Stop You

Romans 8:31 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:37 KJV

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Personal Promises Have Been Made

Joshua 1:5 KJV

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

I Will Not Leave You

John 10:27–30 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

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.

Matthew 28:20 KJV

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

I Will Not Fail You

cast, to throw, i.q. ??????, ?????, whence pr.n. ?????? (casting forth, throwing down), specially—

(2) to cast down, to let fall, especially the hand, die Hand fallen lassen, see Piel, Hiphil. In Kal intrans. to decline as the day, i.e. to draw to a close, Judges 19:9; used of hay in the fire, i.e. to sink down, Isai. 5:24; followed by ???? to relax, to desist from any person or thing, Ex. 4:26; Jud. 8:3; Neh. 6:9.1

1 Wilhelm Gesenius and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2003), 776.

to grow slack, release, let go; (Hi.) to abandon, desert, leave in the lurch; let loose, release from (45)1

1 George M. Landes, Building Your Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary: Learning Words by Frequency and Cognate, vol. 41, Resources for Biblical Study (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001), 86.

I Will Not Forsake You

?azab (??????, 5800), “to leave, forsake, abandon, leave behind, be left over, let go.” This word occurs in Akkadian and post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Similar words appear in Arabic and Ethiopic. The word occurs in biblical Hebrew about 215 times and in all periods.

Basically ?azab means “to depart from something,” or “to leave.” This is the meaning of the word in its first biblical appearance: “[For this cause] shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife …” (Gen. 2:24). A special nuance of the word is “to leave in the lurch,” or to leave someone who is depending upon one’s services. So Moses said to Hobab the Midianite (Kenite): “Leave us not [in the lurch] I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes” (Num. 10:31).

The word also carries the meaning “forsake,” or “leave entirely.” Such passages convey a note of finality or completeness. So Isaiah is to preach that “… the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings” (Isa. 7:16). In other places, the abandonment is complete but not necessarily permanent. God says that Israel is “as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit.… For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee” (Isa. 54:6–7). In Akkadian, this word carries a technical sense of “completely and permanently abandoned” or “divorced.” Isaiah employs this sense in 62:4: “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; … but thou shalt be called [My delight is in her], and thy land [Married].…”1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 87.

Charles Spurgeon tells this story:

I have heard of a certain captain who had led his troops into a very difficult position, and he knew that the next day he should want them all to be full of courage. So, disguising himself, at nightfall he went around their tents and listened to their conversations until he heard one of them say, “Our captain is a very great warrior, and has won many victories, but he has this time made a mistake; for see, there are so many thousands of the enemy, and he has only so many infantry, so many cavalry, and so many guns.” The soldier made out the account and was about to sum up the scanty total when the captain, unable to bear it any longer, threw aside the curtain of the tent and said, “And how many do you count me for, sir?”—as much as to say, “I have won so many battles that you ought to know that my skill can multiply battalions by handling them.”

And so the Lord hears his servants estimating how feeble they are, and how little they can do, and how few are their helpers; and I think I hear him rebukingly say, “But how many do you count your God for? Is he never to come into your estimate? You talk of providing, and forget the God of providence; you talk of working, but forget the God who works in you to will and to do according to his own good pleasure.”1

1 Charles Spurgeon, 300 Sermon Illustrations from Charles Spurgeon, ed. Elliot Ritzema and Lynnea Smoyer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017).

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