Episode Notes

Raise A Hallelujah! Pt 2 – Ps Bruce Claridge [10/03/2019 AM]

Persevering in your participation

Key Scripture

Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  • Last week Bruce spoke about David being called and prepared to face Goliath. He confronted the cause – the giant. He chose to participate.
  • Whether we are at University, in the workplace or amongst family and friends, we have a choice to confront the cause and choose to participate.
  • Sometimes even in your participation, you fall into a pit.
  • Just like the donkey that fell into a pit. He initially complained and reacted when the farmer decided to get his mates to cover him over in dirt, but then his attitude changed.
  • When people shovel dirt (criticism, betrayal, harsh words) on you, just shake it off, make it a platform to go higher and step up.
  • Pretty soon (like the donkey) you will be out of the pit and on your way again.
  • Participation is the initial response, but perseverance is the key to victory.
  • Look up to the sky, not down at the dirt.
  • As with the donkey, perseverance depends on your attitude and looking up…..that’s where your help comes from.
  • Participation in the work that God has given us isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
  • A marathon with different seasons, different demands and different demonstrations of God’s power and grace.
  • It’s participation in a cause that ends and begins in Eternity. A cause that shapes both our eternity and the eternal destiny of those we influence.
  • It’s staying in the battle when the enemy is mocking.
  • It’s singing Hallelujahs when the storm is raging and it seems like Jesus is asleep in our boat.
  • It’s staying focused when other voices cry for our attention.
  • It’s maintaining passion when our labour seems in vain.
  • It’s declaring God’s Word into situations that don’t seem to be changing.
  • It’s “having done all to stand”…….when giving in seems the best option.
  • Some of the answers to staying in the marathon are found in David’s life as are some of the reasons people stagger and fall rather than complete the marathon before them.
  • David went from teenage hero to a murderous, adulterer King but still ran the race to the finish.
  • What caused his falls, but also what caused him to get up and fight again and sustained him in the battle?
  • Stay on track and hang in there.

1. An Abiding Sense of Privilege

  • Somewhere on his journey from shepherd to King, David lost his sense of Privilege only to regain it as the Psalms began to flow from his lips. David finished the race and wrote the Psalms. It’s how you finish that counts.
  • This loss of privilege can happen to believers too …….it happens when we forget who we are and who we represent.
  • It happens when we forget those who have gone before us and also those who currently are facing persecution and martyrdom for their faith.
  • It happens when we don’t allow history to inspire us. When we forget the plight of the first Christians e.g. the Roman believers to whom Paul wrote in his letter around AD56. Those believers who suffered indescribable, ruthless cruelty for their faith at the hands of Nero.
  • The Christians for whom Romans 8:28 was more than just an encouragement in challenging times.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  • Erosion of Privilege also occurs when we see the habitual Christian Life as monotonous, the commitment to a local Church as an option, the disciplines of the Christian Life as restrictive.
  • When we lose our sense of privilege, our capacity for discontent rises in inverse proportion.
  • If our sense of privilege begins to erode, it’s easier to become critical, easier to get offended, easier to forget that “it’s no longer I who live but Christ…..”
  • A sense of privilege to serve Jesus, protects us on our marathon race.
  • It’s a privilege to live in a nation where we can worship freely, share our faith freely and express our beliefs with only the opposition of ridicule or mockery. What a privilege we have!!!
  • How do we maintain our sense of Privilege?
  • Firstly, we keep a Heavenly Perspective.

Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

  • Our time here on earth is but a minute portion of our time in eternity. It’s not even an impression on an endless cord called eternity.
  • Secondly, we develop an attitude of Praise by practising Phil 4:8 – Raise a Hallelujah in the midst of the storm.
  • Remind yourself daily of the privilege of being called a Christian, e.g. Bruce went from Preaching the Word last week in the morning to being on “Lock Up” duty after Church in the evening …… equal serving, each task equally a privilege!

2. Remember it’s a War and Keep on Fighting

  • “…….. But David remained in Jerusalem”.  David’s massive mistake!

2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)

11 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

  • David was a King, a leader, a well- trained fighting man but he chose to stay in Jerusalem instead of going to war with his men.
  • He chose safety, comfort and self- protection over risking the fight.
  • If we read on in this chapter we find David’s lowest moment. By not being at war David was easily distracted and his crime of conspiracy to murder and adultery resulted.
  • Whenever we lose sight of the fact that we are in the war of the ages fighting for the souls of men and women, we become vulnerable, like David. Hopefully not in the same way or with the same consequences, but when we lose our focus the distractions become appealing.
  • We have been given the ministry of reconciliation, not the ministry of ease and comfort.
  • We fight in the Heavenlies.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

3. Stay Humble, teachable and open to correction

2 Samuel 12:18-24 (NIV)

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him;

  • A positive “David contribution”.
  • After receiving the rebuke from the prophet Nathan, David confessed “I have sinned against the Lord”

2 Samuel 12:13 (NIV)

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.

  • David knew who he had sinned against and who had the grace to give him forgiveness and a second chance…. no excuses, no justifications.
  • If we stay humble and teachable, neither perceived success nor perceived failure, will cause pride or at the other extreme, shame.
  • As we stay humble and malleable under the hand of God, it’s easier to keep a “clean spirit”.
  • Offences are passed onto the God who called and prepared you for the battle. We are both free to give forgiveness and free to receive it.
  • We participate without “excess baggage” – offences, hurts, being wounded.
  • We may carry the wounds of the battle but the bleeding has stopped and our clean spirit leaves no room for “infection”.

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

“throw off everything that hinders us …and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

  • To participate actively and productively for the full ride, be prepared to shed some hindrances and run!

4. Live with the Joyful Expectation of God coming through for you

Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  • This is the “Pure Joy” that James speaks of in:

James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

  • ….The “joy of the Lord” in sync with “the testing of your faith” allows perseverance to develop.
  • Trust God’s Word above the facts of your situation.
  • God is a God of appointment, not disappointment.
  • God is a God of the impossible.
  • God is a God of justice whose promises never fail.

Romans 5:5 (NIV)

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Psalm 37:3-6 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

  • God is already in your future, not bound by the restraints of time.
  • He is getting you ready for what He already has ready for you.
  • Live with expectation that God will come through. He is in your future.
  • Understand that it is a privilege to be a Christian.
  • There is a war happening that is worth fighting for.
  • Raise a Hallelujah in the midst of the storm

Conclusion

  • This is the declaration, the raising of your Hallelujah in the presence of your enemies.
  • This is persevering when nothing seems to be happening, when the Goliath seems 7 foot tall.
  • When all you have is a small pebble and a slingshot.
  • This is how you persevere and not just participate.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss the statement – the work that God has given us isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. A marathon with different seasons, different demands and different demonstrations of God’s power and grace.
  2. How does this relate to you?
  3. Does this statement change the way you live your life?
  4. How hard is it to persevere when nothing seems to be happening?
  5. Can you trust God’s Word above the facts of your situation?