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Sacrifice for the Gospel

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • November 12, 2016
    11:30 AM


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Well this summer did you hear about somebody by the name of Luke a concern almost sounds like a country music star but it's not that I that I'm aware of at the age of 42 he did a 1st in history there he is you have to look closely at this picture but if you look at this guy has some patent looks like that type of thing but he was the 1st one to jump out of a plane without a parachute or that what they called a wing suit back in 2012 somebody else crazy enough Gary Connery or a wing suit to aid in his landing but Luke decided no I'm going to do this without any parachute out of the wing suit I'm just going to jump out of a plane at 25000 feet and so he performed this stunt in Simi Valley California on July 30th believe it was this year and after a 2 minute freefall reaching speeds of 120 miles an hour he landed in this in fact you can see in the bottom of that corner Seattle Square that's a net designed to catch Luke Akins if we advance here let me turn this on that's my part of my problem. There is the net catching him I was a 100 feet by 100 feet square with 4 compression air cylinders don't ask me what that means but somehow it was designed to gradually slow him down after impact and of course he survived to be the 1st to jump out of a plane without a parachute or wing suit and yes he's married and there he is holding his little son. The question you might be asking why. I don't have answers for. As to why. But that would seem a little counterintuitive wouldn't it I mean it's hard enough. For me to wrap my mind around this idea of putting a chute on my back and climbing up up up and then propelling myself out of a very safe environment you know the doors open and. All this noise and all the rest and I'm going to jump but then you take the parachute away you know he done some 18000 dies before and so I imagine he knew exactly how to maneuver himself but still rather counter intuitive doing something that I think even at that moment you think What am I doing. Well today I want to look with you at a story where God asked somebody to do something that is very counter intuitive didn't make sense from all human reasoning but sometimes God asked us to do those things and we call it face we call it trust the world calls it insanity sometimes but I want to look with you at a story found in 1st Kings Chapter 17 and we've been going through this idea of sacrifice in this series for the last couple months now and this is the last piece sacrifice for the Gospel we've had this annual sacrifice this past week this week of prayer asking how the Lord might be asking us or calling us to sacrifice for the Gospel and at the conclusion here we're going to take up an offering the yes that's true but I also want you to be thinking about other ways that God might be asking you to sacrifice for the Gospel and for his greater good and so we're going to start this morning and 1st Kings Chapter 17 and verses 8 and 9 to begin here. This is the story of Alija and the widow and so we read there in 1st Kings Chapter 17 verse 8 then the word of the Lord came to him sane arise go to their fath which belongs to side on and well there see I have commanded a widow there to provide for you now you may recall that prior to this story that the monarchy of God's people has only gone downhill there is apostasy everywhere and Allied is called to go before the wicked king a have you member those stories in fact in 1st Kings Chapter 16 verse 33 we're told that King a have is so wicked he says of this would image and did more the verse says to prove or prove oak the Lord then every king before him things are looking pretty bad but keep in mind church that in a have always called forth and Alijah and a have always called for the lodge so logic goes before the wicked king and says there will be no nor no rain until I say and then before the king even gets to know what's happening he disappears he's gone and God tells him go up I will provide for you here at the Brook Cherice remember that story and it is there at the Brook Cherice that Alija is fed not just once a day but twice a day he has his water he has meat and he has bread and the Ravens bring it all to him a fascinating story where the Ravens get it I don't know perhaps from the king's table I don't know but they bring it to him twice a day as if to say Alija I will provide everything for you. I want you to learn full and complete dependence upon me for everything where is your next meal coming from Alija Well I don't know maybe a bird will bring it to me good ones no really and day after day twice a day these Ravens would come but then the story tells us that the brook dries up and God says I will provide for you another way I want you to go almost a 100 miles perhaps even more than a 100 miles away because you don't exactly know where the brook charity is where we know where is Arafat is on the coast of the Mediterranean far west and north 100 mile journey when people are one in and seeking after Alija he said I want you to leave this safe haven and I want you to go I want you to March to their fast and there I have one of the poorest of the poor a widow who has nothing and she will provide for you perhaps that was a bit humbling I don't know you recall that a widow has no financial security has no husband that will work that brings in income or provide She cannot own property but God sins allied to this widow interesting and prophets in Kings 129 and says this woman was not an Israelite she had never had the privileges and blessings that the chosen people of God had enjoyed but she was a believer in the true God and had walked in all the light that was shining on her pathway Isn't that interesting not an Israelite not part of the close chosen people of God Yet she is living up to all the light she has received and God says in fact I can use her above all these others here that have forsaken me she's the one living up to all the light that she is known. Another place here testimonies Volume 3 says a heathen woman living up to the best light she had was in more acceptable state with God than the widows of Israel have been blessed with special privileges and great light and yet did not live according to the light which God had given them and so God says that's OK I have a widow who is living up to all the light that she knows she's going to provide for you go there and so picking up our story here again arise goes there fast and so verse 10 so he a lodger arose and went to their fath and when he came to the gate of the city indeed a widow was there gathering sticks and he called her and said please bring me a little water in a cup that I may drink and she was going to get it and as she was going to get it he called to her and said please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand so she said as the Lord your God lives I do not have bread only a handful of flour in a bin and the oil in a jar and see on gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son that we may eat it and die and the lodges said to her Do not fear easy for you to say do not fear go and do as you have said but make me a small cake from it 1st. And bring it to me and afterward make some for yourself and your son for thus says the Lord God of Israel the been a flower shall not be used nor shall the jar of oil run dry until the day of the Lord sends rain on the earth now lodge is asking a lot of this woman I don't need to remind you the state of widows. And here she's preparing her fight don't final meal and every mother has within them this strong instinct to provide at whatever the cost but lodges essentially asking her to do it God has just asked him to do go to the brook Cherice and rely and depend fully on God really it's the same promise the offers us is in Isaiah 3316 your bread and your water will be sure he promises us that but sometimes we feel like we're gathering sticks for our last meal so nice to feel like we're jumping out of an airplane and we know you have a parachute We have a game plan how we're going to work out I know your bread and water will be sure just do this thing bring it to me 1st and so the connection could be made a sacrifice for the greater mission of God's church is what is being asked for here sacrifice for the well being of Alija sacrifice for the purpose that he is fulfilling through Alija sacrifice where the redemption of God's people who are in desperate need of sacrifice for the saving of your own family because the promise is given feed him 1st and then you and your household will be provided for maybe not everything you want but certainly everything that you need daily I will provide for you and if you will just walk by faith and not by sight that's hard for us and then we'll spend a long time searching for that switch on the wall because we like to walk by sight we like to see where we're going we like to know was there before we get there but rather she acts in face and sacrifices the last of what she has for the purpose of God for the mission of God I don't know about you but I wonder how was this widow able to do. This seemingly simple yet incredibly difficult task how could she follow this command how could she sacrifice the last of what she had for missions in the gospel I submit to you it was because of her relationship with God had to be her relationship with God because if she had she had made a choice to live her life for God and God asked her to do something she had to do it and because of that toys to live for God It gave her a purpose and meaning and direction and God's character his purposes or her purposes and friends and we have a tight connection and relationship with God His character is going to be imbued and pour over us and his character will become our character is that true the more I find myself in his words and meditating and memorizing and in Scripture and in prayer the more his character becomes my character I can't explain it I can't dissected it just happens and this God that she was living up to all the light that she knew was now pouring over her and saw this huge request comes in and she says I have to do it but this doesn't make any sense well but I have to do it in fact I believe we see some governing principles in her life that we also see in Jesus' life and you say no that doesn't make any sense they lived a 1000 years apart that's true because the same today and tomorrow and yesterday and forever and and I think the character of God was formed in this woman it was possible for her just like it's possible for us we can't meet Jesus we can't walk with Jesus but we can. When we study when we pray when we choose to worship and honor him and by beholding his character we become changed and transformed to be more like him is now what it says in 7 Corinthians 318 we all beholding as an Amir the glory of the Lord our being transformed into the same image from glory to glory is not good news that God wants to transform us to change us to form us and fashion is after his likeness and after his character and so this morning very quickly I want to look at for governing governing principles in the life of Jesus that I believe God replicated in this widow and I believe you want to replicate in our lives as well is that OK for governing principles number one 1st principle Jesus chose to make his highest priority to live a life pleasing to God We find that in John 829 and he who sent Me is with me the father has not left me alone for I always do those things that please Him That's what Jesus is about what pleases the Father another one here Matthew 2638 my soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death this is the garden and guess how many remember how Jesus is pleading with his father and his soul is exceedingly sorrowful even to death but he says all my father if it is possible let this cut pass for me nevertheless not as I will but as you will Father I want my life to be pleasing to you 1st and foremost that's my wish that's my desire that's my goal I believe the widow felt the same her highest priority was to live a life pleasing to God is this is what God called me to do this is what I'll do you stop and think about it this is the problem to solve all problems in your life. Sounds like oversimplification Doesn't this is the problem to solve all problems in your life the surrender of the will that's what it boils down to have you said Lord whatever pleases you that's what I want to do Lord is this please you that's what I want to do does that govern your and my behavior does that principle govern everything that we say you don't have to debate if something is OK to watch if I'm is OK to listen to or to eat just be honest with God Just be honest with God God does this please you this is on are you and if you're not sure you can get on your knees and you can say Lord I already made this decision to honor you to please you in all things that's what I want to do that's my highest aim revealed to me by your Holy Spirit if this in fact honors you or not and I believe you'll make it plain I would say in most areas of your life you already know the answer does this bring honor to you does this please you life Principle Number 2 Jesus chose to make service his all to Mitt goal people mattered to Jesus Jesus in live some egotistical self centered life we read here Matthew 20 verse 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life around some for many Jesus' life was a life of service which life principle you claim being served or serving I believe this woman chose to make service her ultimate goal is not evident in the story this gal here is Maggie gathering she lived a very fluent life of ease she was educated served as a professor of computer science at the American University in Cairo Egypt but one day she was visiting one of her adult students in their home. And she was astonished at the poverty that their children and other children around in the neighborhood were living in abject poverty if you can believe it and she said as she was walking around the slums she said I can no longer live a life of affluence I can't do it I can no longer continue in this protest prestigious position as chair of this university and she made a decision to give her life in service to the children that live in the slums in Egypt and so in 1989 she made that decision and today she oversees 90 facilities every day they feed some 30000 children all financed through donations she is known today as Mama Mag In fact you can get her New York Times bestseller that tells you a bit more about what has taken place but when asked what's the biggest challenge you face thing you might be fund raising thinking it might be a kind What's the biggest challenge that you face she says is the biggest challenge I face is myself that's honest answers and the biggest challenge I face is myself to keep focused on living the life of Christ of service that's what she says she's committed her life to the poorest of the poor She's committed her life to service and Jesus to was occupied by a life of service that was his D.N.A. and his true followers will be no different that will be implanted so life principle number one pleasing God is my highest priority life Principle Number 2 serving rather than being served is your ultimate goal and life Principle Number 3 Jesus lived a life of self sacrifice. Not simply just service but of self sacrifice is a verse we've been looking at for this entire time whoever desires to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me for whoever desires to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospels will say that Jesus' life was a life of sacrifice I believe this woman this widow chose to live a life of self sacrifice I'm going to do what pleases God when you live a life of service and if that means self-sacrifice I'm willing to do that too I will make this piece of bread this case and give it to the Lord's prophet 1st Dr Harry Miller It was a contemporary of Dr Kellogg in fact he was one of his brightest students and Dr Miller felt called to minister in China and Dr Kellogg didn't like this idea he says you're too bright of an individual to go be wasted away in some foreign land like China China will just consume you don't go but Dr Miller went anyway because he felt called by God to go and he established hospitals all throughout China all throughout the Orient he helped to develop soymilk he was a personal physician to Shanghai Shekh and many of the royalty he so the avenues principles of truth there in China and today we have over 400000 semed they have in this in China largely result because of early missionaries that when and sacrifice everything for Christ he's just one example life principle number one I'll do nothing that displeases my father life principle to serving rather than being served is your ultimate goal life principle 3 Self sacrifice will not be a yoke around my neck but rather a joy to advance the cause of God And lastly life principle number 4. Jesus lived life with the end in mind he chose to focus on the end at the beginning Jesus chose to focus on the end at the beginning make your end goal the purpose of your life think about what is your in goal most people don't live with the end in mind they live life with today in mind how my going to get through today how am I going to pay my mortgage today how am I going to deal with the problems of work today how am I going to pay off my college loans today you know many medical students today graduate on average with $200000.00 in debt twos to focus on the end at the beginning live life with the END IN MIND What was Jesus' end goal read about it and Luke 1910 for the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was last seen by not Peter G. looking down the road with the end in mind how do you live your life are you living with the end in mind we all have a relatively short time here on this earth if the Lord doesn't come and you die would you like him to say about you at your funeral I believe Jesus lived his life not caught up with the immediacy of life you know what I mean when I say that the immediacy of life business hectic go go go he did not allow the tyranny of the urgent to crowd out the magnificent of the important he never was controlled by the tyranny of the urgent Jesus always lived with the end in mind and I believe this woman is the same she lived life with the end in mind if I do this 1st glorify God will do all these things and he says he'll provide for me the been a flower shall not be used the jar of oil will not run dry the Lord will provide for every need. Little does she know it's not just the needs of food but later in the story that brings about the healing of her son you may recognize this is Joni Eareckson Tada as a teenager she enjoyed riding horses and hiking and tennis and swimming but when she was 17 year old Ole she dove into the Chesapeake Bay but she misjudged the depth of the water and so there was this tragic accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down she can only remotely use her arms and during her 2 years of rehab she experience anger and depression and suicidal thoughts along with religious doubts maybe some here can relate my feeling got to do an interview with her some years ago for a T.V. program and while she was sketching with pencils in her mouth she does a lot with pencils and her artwork is mostly with pencils and Yassar several questions you know what's the most challenging parts as well like the taste of the pencils for one but he asked her this very pointed question says Joni Do you ever wonder why you weren't healed and she said when I 1st had this diving accident was really tough for me I wondered why I wasn't being healed people said you know if you haven't a face if you pray hard enough you'll be healed but then she said Mark Chapter one for me answer that question completely solve it for me and she talked about how Jesus had been healing people all night long and the disciples came to him the next morning while he's having special time along with his father disciples come and they find him and they ask him to do some more healing but instead he leaves and Johnny says he left sick people and his response is simply this I must be going on to other cities as well because the purpose of my life is to preach the gospel and Jony says this is the purpose of my life was not to be healed. The purpose of my life was to share Jesus with other people she's following the principle of living her life with the end in mind you can find one of her most recent books on Amazon it's called a place of healing wrestling with the mysteries of suffering pain and God's sovereignty but she is living her life with the end in mind you know if she actually would have done the opposite and live with the amazing immediacy of her situation being crippled being paralyzed friends who had been miserable her whole life to have been bitter angry upset depressed but she lived with the end in mind that one day she would be walking and running in heaven and that Christ had given her the opportunity to share his grace with others and so again we've been talking for some time about sacrifice to put Jesus 1st in every aspect of our lives and yes to do that requires sacrifice sacrifice of our time of our energy of our resources sacrifice of my pride and self-sufficiency and at times a sacrifice that is physical in nature or even a sacrifice of relationships and that can be difficult perhaps you know how the widow feels for you to have felt what it's like to gather sticks for your last meal but in that moment God whispers Do you trust me is your highest priority to please me is service your old in that goal are you willing to live a life of self-sacrifice and where you live with the end in mind and your bulletin there's a commitment card looks like this to Daniel sacrifice and there's 2 boxes you can check in there's a place to sign the bottom. In that 1st paragraph it says in light of this series on sacrifice I have been convicted that the Lord is X. asking me to sacrifice my fill in the blank for him what is God asking you to give up to sacrifice just write it in a word right there no one's going to look at this but me and this is fine if this is something that only you know with that word but what is God convicting you to sacrifice your my right pride in their YOU MY RIGHT junk food in there you might why it's a waste of time from the T.V. or just put T.V. to put social media in there WAS got to ask you to sacrifice perhaps you might write an income think you need to work less and spending time with my family more perhaps you need to write sleep in there I don't suppose you have a dream of I will but I just can't say no I just need all the sleep I can get I just can't do it. So that's the 1st part what is God convicting you to sacrifice for him and then these corrupt promises by God's grace I want to specifically surrender that area of my life to him today claiming that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength Philippians 434 I know my God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus flippin for 90 the next paragraph I commit to praying for the spread of the 3 angels message of Revelation 14 to unretire places and people groups around the world it is my prayer that people may know understand and be transformed by the everlasting Gospel and experience the love grace peace and assurance that only God can give I commit to praying I would hope everybody could check that box and put your name at the bottom has been a week of prayer an annual sacrifice in a moment we're going to be collecting that offering as well and I'm going to do it a little bit in a different way we have a basket here and here and I'll direct you how we're going to do this in just a moment. Or maybe I'll just tell you now so you can be thinking about everybody saying these 2 will come to the center and go around this way and you'll file out on these sides and go back to your seat does that make sense and for people on this side you're actually going to go out to the outside and hit the basket on your way back to your seat go away back to your spot if that makes sense same on this side are going to go to the outside and so we're going to do that here in a moment and I hope and it's my prayer that you've also been thinking and praying Lord what would you have me to give for this annual sacrifice offering. To advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ in places where the Gospel has not been and before you ladies pray we're going to watch a video 1st I want to share a few verses before we do that Jesus said to them My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work do you not say there are still 4 months and then comes the harvest Behold I say to you lift up your eyes and look at the fields for they are already white for harvest do you believe that to be true. And he who reaps receive wages and gathers fruit for eternal life friends that's the best fruit you can ever find fruit for eternal life this comes from of you and Harold all must Christ the majesty of heaven the King of Glory bear the heavy cross and wear the thorny crown and drink the bitter cup while we recline at ease glorify ourselves and forget the souls he died to redeem by His precious blood no let us give while we have the power let us do all we have the strength let us work while it is day let us devote our time and our means to the service of God that we may have his approbation and receive his reward and last passage here Romans 10132154 whoever calls in the name of the Lord shall be saved that's good news. Here's the problem How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed and how shall they believe in him and who they have not heard and how shall they hear without a preacher and how shall they preach unless they are sent as it is written How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of Peace who bring glad tidings of good things if you want to support the further into the gospel I invite you to write a tithe on below or actually this the loose offering today goes into effect as you don't have to do that but if you're giving a large gift and you'd like it to be tax deductible put a tie down below put your name on it put and you'll sacrifice offering and give. A little more than maybe you typically do for the spread of the Gospel we're going to watch a quick video clip just now that tells a little bit more about this offering and then I'll give you a few more instructions as we file up here and place not only our gifts financially but I want everybody to think about this card as well check what you can fold it in half and place that in the basket as a gift of sacrifice to let's watch a video just now. Around The World Today we face many different mission challenges I think for example of the 1040 window which stretches from North West Africa through the Middle East into Asia that's where the majority of the world's population live and the fewest Christians I also think of the growing cities of the world again with the majority of the population lives and this is a tremendous challenge particularly for 7 they had to miss because traditionally we have focused more in rural areas and that's where we have drawn out sure but as we look at these challenges as we look at the challenges of secularism and post-modernism in Western Europe a strange museum and increasingly in North America we see that we are not sufficient for these things but God has called us to join him in his mission to make disciples in these areas of the world you know not so far from here in the Philippines there is a place called Kalimantan and many years ago I met a global mission pioneer planting youth groups of believers I asked him about his story how he had started to be kind of small he said when I started it was really difficult there were men running up and down the main street holding the decapitated heads of the enemies this point Young Pioneer had arrived in the middle of some civil war into product church but there he was and he put Christ with it into practice he said we have an expression here which when translate. It says I tread that ground which means I come here I become like the people and that's what we see around the world today we see global mission pioneers treating the ground like Jesus did in combinational ministry rubbing shoulders with people ministering to believe showing sympathy with confidence and bringing them to Jesus Christ and your and 2nd fuss offering likes a tremendous difference in supporting global mission around the world it makes it possible for pioneers to do their work and makes it possible for local missions centers to help us bridge to people from other religions and cultures that helps make a difference to lead Minutemen boys and girls to Jesus cross so thank you so much for your continuing support from global mission for your support of the annual 2nd fuss offering. You may be seeing the balcony say what are we supposed to do well if if you are willing you can file out the back income of the center Oh and then just come back up that way if that's too much we have some baskets up there in the balcony as well but I would encourage those that can to come down and be part of putting your contributions into these baskets. And I would hope and will have some deacons in fact deacons want to come forward they're going to dismiss you in kind of a backwards way instead dismissing out the back there dismissing out the front but if the sections will come here towards the middle and fall back around that way and if these outer section will go the outside 1st and fall back in the middle and we'll try and do this is orderly and reverently as we can but it's my hope that everyone will have a reason to come forward that everyone will fill out that pledge card and be willing to pray for the spread of the gospel to everyone will listen to the probably the Holy Spirit and say Lord what do you want me to sacrifice as we move forward and anticipation of Jesus soon return. Poor poor. Poor. Poor poor poor own or around. Her. Or or. Old or or whoever or whatever. That Von. Maur or. Borer Orleans. Or are. All. Born. Poor. Poor. Poor. Poor. Or or old all all. Or. Our dearest Heavenly Father we have answered the call for the last several months you've been asking us to sacrifice but this morning we have put down an area in our lives that we feel is standing in our way of being closer to you Lord we've surrendered that today we give you that today and more we've also brought our offerings because we desire to see this work go forward. For lives to be changed and transformed completely by the power of this ever lasting gospel so we have given the means entrusted to us to the Cause of God and we devote ourselves and reserve it. To your work in Jesus' name we pray. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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