SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

"Have You Been There?"

Dramatization :

Ten minutes till seven in the morning, you're snug in bed, comfortable, warm, and not a worry on the horizon. A realization hits you and it is hard to remember ever feeling this rested; usually your up and going a hundred miles an hour, tired from staying up to late the night before. You open your eyes and the shock hits you! You should have been up an hour ago. You have six minutes to get to work. Exasperation sets in and you immediately go into damage control. If I don't shower I can save ten minutes; so you jump out of bed and forget that the dog is sound asleep on the floor beneath you.

There is an explosion when your bare feet land in the middle of the sleeping dog, the dog yelps, you fall, and the entire house is awake now. You recover and throw off your PJ's and begin to dress. It dawns on you that the night before you procrastinated and convinced yourself you would have ample time in the morning, so your clothes are still in the drier.

Finally, you get out of the drive-way and start to work and of course traffic is horrific and you literally stop at every single traffic light. As it seems it must happen today, your boss is early for the first time in a year and has called you twice to find out your ETA.

Just before lunch, you have almost caught back up for the day and almost forgotten the chewing out you received for being late, even if you couldn't convince him this was not a normal occurrence. Your cell phone goes off just as your boss is walking by. After he sneers and keeps walking, you answer to find your wife calling to tell you that a close family member has contracted terminal cancer.

Just then the power goes off at work and all the equipment shuts down. With the second shift just four hours away, the only way to regroup is to work through lunch.

Finally, the work day is over; you're tired and driving home praying for the family member that has cancer. You walk through the front door and it dawns on you that you were supposed to pick your wife up on the way home because her car is in the shop. You race back out the door only to notice that you're right front tire is almost completely flat, you've picked up a nail in the tire. You change the tire, race over to get her.

There she is with her hands on her hips and that look you've seen a thousand times from her mother. During the heated discussion of the day's events, you back up into a pole as you exit from the parking lot.

You finally arrive home, set down on the couch with your head in your hands. The dog you stepped on earlier in the day rests his head on your knee as if to say, “I feel your pain big guy!” Then you realize that mid-week services started a half hour ago and it was your night to lead singing!

 

I know you probably giggled a little as you read this dramatization, but have you been there? Most have in one form or another. Just when you often think you have everything figured out, all the pieces are fitting together just right; BAM!!!

Disaster strikes!

 

The question isn't WHY?

Bad things happen to everyone in this life! There is no getting out of it. Tragedy is no respecter of persons! Rich, powerful, smart, or healthy; no one is immune to tragedy.

 

So, the question becomes What?

What are you going to do about it! The answer to this question separates those who are overcome, from those who overcome!

 

Tragedy, bad days, and general trouble are going to come and with it come discouragement, which makes things go from bad to worse. This is often because Christians misunderstand Paul's command, note:

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

 

Yes, we are to rejoice always! However, just because we can rejoice that our names are also written in the “Book of Life”, does not mean that we will be immune to tragedy in this life.

This is the message of Paul to the Christians in Corinth , note:

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia : that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.”

 

Paul is writing to these brethren concerning the trials he faced in Ephesus (Acts 19), where he feared for his life because of the guild of silversmiths. Paul did not spend time on the WHY but on the WHAT we mentioned before. He could have been discouraged as things in Ephesus went from bad to worse; however, he continued on trusting God and found joy in the fact that God delivers, even from death! This is the joy we are to have always, even in the face of tragedy!

 

Yet, instead of trusting God, Christians do some very strange things!

 

1)  We Tend to Pay Less Attention to Prayer?

How is it that when we should pray all the more, we actually pray less? Do we reason that our schedules are to full, our spirit is too oppressed to make a good prayer, are our problems to complicated for God, or we just don't want to bother Him?

 

What do the scriptures say?

 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing”

 

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 

James 5:15-16 “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. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

 

2)  We Tend to Pay Less Attention to Worship?

Many of us may have heard or even said this before, “ I've got some things going on in my life right now, and once I get them worked out I'll start attending more regularly!

 

This is backwards isn't it?

All worship is for God; however, our coming together to worship Him stimulates us, encourages us when we are discouraged, and builds us up for the challenges ahead!

 

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

 

3)  We Tend to Isolate instead of Assimilate?

When was the last time we said to ourselves, “I'm down, I'm going to surround myself with people who love me!”

In most cases we do the opposite! We retreat, curl up somewhere and sulk, “woe is me!”

Since we know that life is going to be full of burdens, some of which may seem unbearable, why face our problems alone? This does not make us brave or courageous, just lonelier!

 

Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

 

Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

 

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

 

4)  What Have We Learned?

The next time tragedy strikes and things go from bad to worse (and it is going to happen!), instead of discouragement; we are going to:

•  Pray without ceasing!
•  Assemble ourselves together for worship!
•  Surround ourselves with people who love us and seek their strength!

 

Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

 

This will separate us from those who are overcome

To Those Who Overcome!