A sermon from 2 Kings 2:19-22 19
“Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land [h]is unfruitful.” 20 He said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 He went out to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘I have purified these waters; there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer.’” 22 So the waters have been purified to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.”
Several years ago I worked with a gentleman who was trying to explain to me what his understanding of faith was.
He said, ”Richard, faith is like this. You walk up to a wide, fast flowing river. It is so wide and moving so fast that there is no way across it. But God has directed you to cross at that point in the river. So you pray, ‘God you told me to cross right here so give me some rocks to step on to get across this river.’” My friend continued, “When you have faith like that God will give you the rocks to step on and make it across where He directed you to.”
I thanked my friend for this illustration of faith. But I disagreed with him on one point. I still disagree with him on one point.
Faith is like walking up to a wide and fast moving river with no way across. You know God has directed you across this way but it seems impossible. So you pray,”God show me a rock to step on.” God responds with, “Take the step.” Again you say, “God show me a rock to step on.’ Again God says, “Take the step.”
This debate goes on and on until you realize that to be faithful; to have faith, you have to take the step. My point to my friend and my point to you is, faith is taking the step even when it seems like you will sink into the river and be swept away by the current.
Here it is. The payoff. The outcome of truly stepping in faith. As you step out in faith your foot catches a rock below the surface of the river. Yes your foot may get a little wet but you do not sink into the river. You aren’t swept away. God has you the whole time.
That is faith. Not in yourself but in God your creator. True faith.
Today, you may be facing a huge decision. God has directed you to take a step of faith, but you cannot see any rocks to step on. God asks you to step and God will provide a place for your foot to land.
I challenge you with the thought. Where has God asked you to step out in faith but you are waiting for the path to be shown? How can you take that first step of faith?
Stepping into a river with no place to stand seems crazy, especially to people in the world. Such is the case with decisions we are asked to make as followers of Christ. Sometimes, God asks us to do things that seem crazy to the world. We must obey.
I would love to hear what decisions you are facing. Start the conversation below.
While you are here, check out this weeks video:
In this episode I lay out the verse that I have been challenged with for this year.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Will you join me in seeking the Lord in 2017. I have a feeling that we will come to know Him like we never have before.
At the end of the episode I offer an opportunity to join me in seeking the Lord together this year through an intense discussion group. I am calling it Preparation For Launch. Together, we will read through the entire Bible this year. We will watch some videos together that give us a better understanding of the Scripture. We will have a closed discussion group on facebook to share what the Lord is doing through this year.
If you would like to be a part of Preparation For Launch you can do one of three things. 1.) Comment below, 2.) comment on the Same Shirt Facebook site or 3.) email me at email@example.com
I will leave it open until next Friday, January 13. Then we will get started.
Here are links to the resources we will be using.
As I returned from the activities of the past summer I was burdened for those who are lost. I was burdened for those who serve false idols. As I prayed about what to do the Lord showed me this message in 1 Thessalonians 1. My prayer for those that are lost is that they would turn form their idols and serve the living God.
Today it was announced that Art Briles will be fired as the head football coach at Baylor University. This comes after an external review found that the university failed to appropriately handle several allegations of sexual assault against Baylor University football players.
I am just an outsider looking on and have no other details than what has been provided through news reports over the last several months. With that being said I would like to make one observation. The major issue here is a failure to protect women on the campus of Baylor University. But this is not a problem isolated to Baylor University. This is a national issue.
This issue stems from a greater and yet underlying problem, the pornification of our culture. If statistics hold true then well over two thirds of the young men on the football team at Baylor, well any college football team for that matter, view pornography at least once a week. Statistics from Covenant Eyes, an internet and mobile accountability group, reveals this fact, “About 64-68% of young adult men and about 18% of women use porn at least once every week. Another 17% of men and another 30% of women use porn 1-2 times per month.”
Combine that with this statistic, “When hundreds of scenes were analyzed from the 50 top selling adult films, 88% of scenes contained acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contained verbal aggression.” And now we have a recipe for male physical aggression toward women. Add to that the fact that Baylor University, for the sake of the program, failed to take action that would prevent future assaults from taking place and you have this environment that almost encourages this type of behavior.
Here is the recipe a little more precisely.
- Young men with unhindered (80-90% of pornography is accessed for free) access to pornography.
- 88% of top pornography videos teach these young men that sex is to be aggressive and abusive. Men are to take it by force.
- An environment to behave in this way with no fear of consequence.
The result, Baylor University football program over the last several years.
This saddens me to say, but if we continue down this path of unhindered access to pornography then this news story will become more common place. We will soon find that other programs across the country have been covering up and hiding many of the same problems.
Hopefully through this decisive action by Baylor University Board of Regents, other women across the country will come forward and other programs that compromise morality and ethics for the sake of winning ballgames will be brought down.
We can no longer ignore, hide, and laugh off porn use. It must be destroyed. It will be destroyed one man at a time.
When young men become real men and quit seeking temporary thrills and pleasures on the internet.
When young men become real men and protect women instead of abusing them.
When young men become real men who fight for truth, and ethics, and morals, and principles.
When young men quit being cowards all the while wearing the manhood label.
When young men become real men then we will see this industry fall.
Until then, expect this story to be more common. I hate that I say that.
I conclude with this writing from the tomb of an Anglican bishop found in the crypts of Westminster Abbey:
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights and decided to change only my country.
But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and , who knows, I may have even changed my world.