To Leave or Stay? Putting Jesus First
29 Dec 2012 Service – Bobby Chaw & Aries Zulkarnain
To Leave or Stay?
Think of the story of Lazarus rising from the dead, from his perspective:
He might have been sad when he came back to life, why?! Because he had tasted heaven for 4 days! But now he’s back to a world of tribulations.
To leave or stay??
When bad things happen to good people: Job His wife decided for him – 9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9
When God’s promises are delayed: Abraham
19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Rom 4:19-21
26 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. 2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. Gen 26:1-3
It is more convenient to leave when there are troubles, but we must not give up, and stay in the land of promises!
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. Philip 2:21-23
There are 7 days of mourning in the olden times.
3 days of weeping: they believe the spirit of the deceased will be hovering around the tomb, trying to re-enter into the body. Family members will be waiting for miracles for the dead to rise.
4 days of lamentations: The body is starting to decay, all hope is gone.
Jesus came to Lazarus on the 4th day so they all thought it was too late. But Jesus specializes in the “4th day”! When you think it’s too late, He will show up. If you can believe, you will see the glory of God.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. Jn 11:25
Your marriage, business or relationships may be dead but God can resurrect it! Only if you open your eyes and believe!
Putting Jesus First
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Col 1:15-18
Priority in life as Christians:
4. Health/Education/Your hobbies, etc
We usually think that since God is number one priority we need to spend the most time with Him, putting Him first. But instead of looking at “Jesus first“, why don’t we look at “Jesus inside our family, career and ministry!“. Jesus should not be part of the order of our priorities, but the CENTRE of our priorities.
How do we make him the centre of our priorities? From Prov 3:4-10 MSG
Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. Trust God from the bottom of our heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. Prov 3:4-10 [MSG]
1. Trust God for our difficult circumstances
Don’t try to figure things out on your own. Let go and Let God. Trusting His plan for our everyday life is as equally important as trusting Him for our eternal life.
2. Listen for God’s voice for our relationship issues
How God usually speaks to us:
C. Peace of God – 4 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Prov 11:14
3. Run to God for our health
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. James 5:13-15
4. Honor God for our financial provision and career
22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. Deut 14:22-23
If you compare yourself with others, you will fail to see the goodness of God in your life! Don’t compare! Start counting your blessings in the past, and FOR your blessings in the future.