Have you ever had to step out and do something God wanted you to, but you were unprepared? No notes, no outline…nothing but what God gives you at that moment? The message today from Elder Don Kinser was just that, no idea what God was going to do or lead, no notes or outline to look at, but he knew he had to speak to the church, so God had him to do it “off the cuff.”
Today I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, so I don’t know where God will take us but let’s see together.
About eight years ago I was to speak for Pastor Doug since he was away visiting family for the New Year. Now then, and still today, I always struggle about giving the message, mainly for the lack of confidence in myself. I take giving a message very seriously and want to honor God as well as honor my pastor so I’m always second-guessing myself. On that Sunday, Doug was not supposed to be there but as I walked in, there he was. He met me and said he had a message ready and was ready to go if I didn’t have anything, I thought ‘Yes! I have an out!’ Assuming God arranged this, I told him to go ahead. Then when he began to give the message my jaw dropped and hit the floor. I’m sure the color in my face went white because he started giving the exact same message I had, but wouldn’t give because of my insecurities. I just sat there in stunned astonishment, not only was it the same message, he used the exact same scriptures I had written down. He used the exact same title, and to make matters even worse, he used the exact same opening line about the message that I had written down to use. Now the message was on the rich man that came to Jesus and said he had kept the commandments from his youth but what more must he do and Jesus told him to sell everything he had and follow Him. But the rich man couldn’t do it because he had much wealth. God was speaking to me saying, ‘sell what you have: your insecurities, your lack of confidence, your feelings of unworthiness and follow Me. Don’t let those things stand in the way of following Me.’ So from that day forward, I’ve never turned down an opportunity to teach or preach and I’ve never let my insecurities and other feelings stand in my way.
Now I said all that to say this: todays message is something I’ve never done before. During the week God just kept telling me to stand up there and the words will come so if nothing else today, today is for me, to see if I truly trust Him. So let’s see where He takes us….
First of all, I’m a fundamentalist. I believe His Word literally means what it says. He said “In the beginning God created” and I believe that wholeheartedly. His Word says He did it in six days and I believe it was actual 24 hour days—not a metaphor for millions of years. I believe God as the Creator has been under attack so heavily the last 60 years because if man accepted God as Creator then we would have to answer to Him because He then would be the final supreme authority, and man does not want that; he wants to be his own authority. I also believe rejecting God as Creator is man’s way of shaking his fist in God’s face, as well as, in recent years, the transgender movement because we say we get to decide if we’re male or female not God, when in fact we should accept what we’re born to be and find the purpose God has for us and try to fulfil it.
Man has made “his science” the authority, but let’s take a quick look at that. How many times has science had to change because it was wrong? How many times has it had to change as new facts are found? Several remember when “science” taught as fact the sun, planets and stars revolved around the earth? How about the “science” fact that the universe always was and will always be? How about the on again off again “science” fact of The Big Bang? Up until about 5 years ago it was the “science” fact that Pluto was a dead frozen smooth ice ball of a planet, but now we know it has mountains, flat plains, even Volcanoes that erupt slushy ice (meaning it has to have liquid water something that “science” had said would be impossible.)
Now how many times has the Bible’s account changed? It said the universe had a beginning;, it says it is slowly dying and will have and end. Would you rather go with “man’s science” that changes every few years or the constant of the Bible?
Satan has made man to embrace The 5 “I WILL’S” in Isaiah 14 (1) I will ascend into heaven (2) I will exalt my throne above God (3) I will sit on the mount of the congregation (4) I will ascend above the clouds (5) I will be like the most high. Man doesn’t want God or have to answer to God; he wants it his way
Now Isaiah is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It runs the gambit from the 5 “I will’s” to the promise of the Messiah. I believe it shows God’s sense of humor such as in Isaiah 44:8, where He asks the question “Is there a God Beside Me?” I can picture Him standing and looking around while asking this and seemingly giving time for a response before saying ”I know not any”. He then goes on to talk about how foolish it is to make your own gods and idols, just as it is today foolish to make fame, money, success, status and the other many things we make into a god instead of letting Him be God.
Also, in Isaiah 52:10 when He says He will make bare His Holy Arm to show His salvation—He did exactly this. Jesus was His Holy Arm made bare—He was God in the flesh. Colossians 1:15 says He is the Image of the invisible God, so if you want to know what God is like read the four gospels. Read about Jesus— you will find what makes Him happy, sad, angry, and His heart. A heart that would walk 70 miles out of the way to talk to a woman on her 5th boyfriend—a woman so ashamed of her life she wouldn’t show her face when other people were around—simply just to talk to her. That’s the God that loves us. No mater what you’ve done or how far He has to walk, He is more than willing to come to you, just as He did her.
That brings me to my favorite verse in the Bible, Malachi 3:3. It says He will sit as refiner and purify. The chapter goes through the process of getting gold and silver, from getting the raw ore out of the ground (usually gold and silver are found together), cleaning off the dirt, washing it then separating the gold and silver then beginning the refining process on gold, in that day a refiner would heat the gold till it melted, stirring it constantly, adjusting the heat so as he stirs, impurities would begin to float up to the top as gold is one of the heaviest elements so any impurity would float to the top, and as it floated up the refiner would skim off the impurities (the dross). He would constantly have to adjust the heat and stir to break loose the impurities. He couldn’t let it boil because He couldn’t then skim off the dross. He knew when it was pure when he could look into the pot of liquid gold and see his face in the gold. That’s God working in us, constantly adjusting the heat on us, stirring us to loosen the dross, and just as the refiner would sit over the gold, he stayed in the heat and smoke, getting soot from the fire on Him. God stays with us always through the refinement even in the heat, smoke and soot of our lives, to refine us to the point that He can only see Himself when He looks at us.
I’ll use my mom as the best example of this. She grew up in rural Roane county in the 1930’s. As a child she had a hard life. Her father was an alcoholic and very abusive. My Grandmother, her mother, was a very timid and meek lady, about 4-foot 5inches and about 90 pounds at the time. One night in the dead of winter with a big snow on the ground, my mom’s dad came home drunk and beat them and ran them off out in the snow and there they stayed till a neighbor took them in. It was on of the worst beatings and tirades he had ever done. So much so that my petite, timid grandmother came back home that morning while he was passed out sewed the bed sheets to the mattress and waited for him to wake up. When he did, she proceeded to beat him with a frying pan and told him he would never do that again and he would either quit drinking or leave. So, he left and never came back. I said all that to lay the ground work for my mom, because she absolutely hated her dad and would have nothing to do with him. My dad slowly would urge her to try and visit him but she would in no uncertain terms let her feelings for him be known. But dad would keep insisting and finally in the early 70’s she would very reluctantly go and visit him, letting us all know on the car ride there and back what kind of man he was. We would visit him about 3 times a year and in the mid 70’s mom and dad got saved. Slowly over time the visits went to about 6 times a year and we didn’t hear mom saying the usual bad stuff about her dad anymore.
Now just a few years later mom found out her dad had cancer and she began to visit him more frequently, bringing her sister with her to visit him. As he got worse, she would go and care for him a couple days a week. She would use this time to witness to him, and before he died, he gave his life to the Lord.
He knew how my mom felt about him, but the change God made in her made an impact on him. God had refined her life and her father could now see the Refiner’s Face in her. Only she could have had that kind of impact and witness to him. He knew she had hated every fiber of his being; he knew she wouldn’t have spit on him if he was on fire, but now he saw the complete change and knew it was real. That’s what God wants in us: let His image be seen in you. There are people that only you and your experiences can reach, no one else. Let Him refine you and make you ready.
We serve a God who is the only and final Authority. There is no other God but Him. He became flesh to show His love; to show He’s willing to go completely out of His way to talk to us—no matter what we have done or are currently doing—and He wants to refine us so His image is seen in us. That’s the message for this morning.
Representing Christ defies gaps: generational, political and denominational. If you’re going to represent Christ—follow His word by what God says—not by your generation, political view, or denomination... How can you show who Jesus is if you stay within your culture? No one outside of your culture will see Who He really Is. Jesus doesn’t see Himself in you if you’re not willing to get rid of the ‘dross’ of impurities. Let Him refine you outside of your culture. If your actions in representing Christ cause one person to stumble, it’s better you were never born. If you’re going to represent Christ—it means leave everything behind. There should be no splits in House of God at all. When we abandon it all for Him is when He’ll see His image in us. So, ask Him what He’ll have you leave to bring you closer to Him. He gave up everything to be one of us—will we give up everything to be like Him?
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