Read Ezekiel 36:8-11
Can we enjoy something better than in the beginning? Absolutely!
Remember how excited you were when first saved, joined the church, led your first convert to Christ? Restoration of character always brings return to prosperity in the Christian’s life.
Proverbs 4:18,“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
FOUR SIMPLE LESSONS ON HOW TO ENJOY BETTER BLESSINGS IN THE FUTURE.
A. RETURN TO THE SIMPLE FAITH IN CHRIST.
After all, that is what this chapter is all about. It points to the blessings of Christ’s Kingdom.
B. REPENT OF THE LITTLE SINS THAT BROKE YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
C. RETURN TO SERVING HIM WITH A FERVENT HEART.
D. REMEMBER IT ALL STARTED WITH FREE SALVATION.
1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Job 23:8-12, verse 10 text.
Certainly if any one character in the Bible could be referred as the child of light it is Job.
There are several reasons for this:
I. THE FAITH HE PROFESSED:
There must be a profession of faith before there can be a genuine realization of the,
A. Existence of God
Job was not one of those “fools” who says, “there is no God.” As it is true throughout the entire Book Job always assumes the existence of God. He never doubted!
B. Providence of God.
Eliphaz insinuated Job’s lack of faith & accused him of sin in Chapter 22:5-15 even to imply that he was an unbeliever. What a friend! But in verse 10 Job quickly responded by recognizing God’s presence and his providence, even if he could not see Him. He realized God was all around him, and God’s Hand, though it may be veiled, was always working.
C. The authority of God.
Job recognized that this invisible and omnipresent God was continually working on him, much as a refiner does with gold. Gold cannot be over purified because the heat cannot be too much for it. Job realized this for him. He attempted to trust God and His providence rather than his natural heart: 21:15.
In Exodus 5:2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.”
Jeremiah 18:12,“And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.”=
Luke 19:14,“But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”
D. The Omniscience of God.
Job believed that God not only cared for the regular things in life, but also was concerned about the particular. He knows all things, including all secret things in life. He knows all there is to know about you. Like Hagar in the wilderness said, “Thou God, seest me” or you are all seeing Genesis 16:13.
Or like David, “I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me”Psalm 40:17. Or like Jeremiah could say, Jeremiah 18:23, “Lord, thou knowest all their counsel against me”Or Peter who said, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee”John 21:17.
Job regarded his whole life as continually under the eye of God, “He knoweth the way that is with me.”
So, God’s eyes are always on the ways of man, especially the righteous:
Psalm 34:21, “Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.” Psalm 1:6, “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
II. THE CHARACTER HE MAINTAINED.
A. The faithfulness he produced.
It is the part of a good man to walk before God, “Abraham, I know Him”Genesis 17:1.
B. The grace of God he displayed.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God said that of us and for us to say, “all my ways are before Thee!”
Job 23:8-12, verse 10 text.
Job was noted for his perseverance in James 5:11 and unwavering faith in God, in spite of his suffering and moments of frustration and doubt. All the facts known about Job are contained in the Old Testament book that bears his name. He is described as Job 1:1, 3. Uz is probably a name for a region in Edom Jer. 25:20; Lamentations 4:21.
A prosperous man, Job had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a large household, consisting of seven sons and three daughters. He was also “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and eschewed (shunned)evil” Job 1:1.
Satan suggested to God that Job would remain righteous as long as it was financially profitable for him to do so. Then the Lord permitted Satan to try Job’s faith in God. Blow after blow fell upon Job: his children, his servants, and his livestock were taken from him and he was left penniless. Nevertheless, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”1:22.
Satan continued his assault by sneering, Job 2:5. The Lord allowed Satan to afflict Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head, so that Job sat in the midst of ashes and scraped his sores with a piece of pottery. “Dost thou still retain thy integrity?”his wife asked him. “Curse God and die!”Job 2:9. But Job refused to curse God. Look at 2:10.
Job’s faith eventually triumphed over all adversity, and he was finally restored to double his former prosperity. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He died at the ripe old age of 140 years 42:12-13, 16-17. When he gets to heaven, he will see that his family has doubled also.
Job is a model of spiritual integrity– a person who held fast to his faith, without understanding the reason behind his suffering. He serves as a continuing witness to the possibility of authentic faith in God in the most troubling of circumstances. Nelson’s Student Bible Dictionary.
Hebrews 10:25,“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.”
What is it about the church of Jesus Christ that draws the multitudes week after week, year after year, and century after century? Certainly, it is not anything which man has done, or ever can do. The church goes on only becauseof the life-changing message of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Next week is our annual “I Love My Church” Sunday, and we want to take a few moments to express some of the reasons for which we love His church.
- BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR THE CHURCH. The Bible says he laid down His life a ransom for many. Think of it, the church is made up of individuals. The church is not a building. The church is not even an organization or a club. The church is made up of Blood-bought sinners because of His sacrifice.
- BECAUSE OF THE COST PAID BY THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US. The church cannot go on unless the disciples of Christ truly forsake all to keep the church alive. Thank God for the saints of God who, for centuries, have given themselves to keep the church alive.
- BECAUSE WE FIND COMFORT IN FELLOWSHIPPING WITH ONE ANOTHER. Yes, of course the purpose of the church is to worship and glorify God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; however, our church has become a part of our life, and it ought to be the most important part of our activity throughout the week.
- BECAUSE WE REALIZE IT IS THE ONY HOPE TO KEEP OUR HOMES AND NATION STRONG. The Bible says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”– Psalm 9:17. We have certainly seen this to be true. We must be willing to lay down our lives, if need be, to guard, protect, and defend the church of Jesus Christ for the coming generations.
- BECAUSE THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE NOT ONLY ARE SOULS SAVED, BUT LIVES ARE CHANGED. While this is one of the most important reasons, the best reason I can think of is because Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.
Please Read Romans 13
It has gotten to the place where we do not recognize the fact that in demanding our rights we often violate the rights of others. Take the example of a husband and wife in the home, or a parent and child in the home. The child says, “I have my rights.” The husband says, “I have my rights; I have a right to do this or that,” without ever even thinking of the spouse or the parent, who also has some rights.
You have heard the expression that duties never conflict. Now let me start a new expression – rights never conflict. When God speaks and addresses our rights, He only says, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” In other words, when you become a child of God, all of your rights have been taken from you and given to the Holy Spirit and interpreted through the Scripture.
When I demand my rights, it must always be that my rights are consistent with the Word of God. Let’s make absolutely certain that where our own individual rights end, we do not trample on the rights of others or violate the Word of God. Look again at verse 1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained (ordered) of God.” God is supreme; He is omnipotent; He is omniscient and omnipresent, and it is He to whom we must yield our individual rights.