1 Samuel 23:1-29

1 Samuel 23:1-29

Vintage message from November 15, 1998.

Ask yourself: is my sin affecting those around me? Is the life that I’m living, a life that is dishonoring God, or the lies that I’m telling, the things that I’m doing, are they affecting other people?… We have no clue what our sin is going to do to somebody else. We have no clue how our lives are going to adversely affect someone else. On the same token, what if we’re doing good? How is the good that we’re doing affecting people around us? Think about it. We all know that we want to do good, and if we do good, if somebody else is watching then they might even be persuaded to live good lives themselves. If we live as believers, because we are a believer and we live our life as a believer, that will have an affect on somebody else around us because you know what? People are watching what we do. You may think yourself to be a person of insignificance, a person who is unimportant, a person who no one wants to look at [or] have anything to do with. That you have no affect on anybody, but believe me, God has put someone in your life…that watches what you do… The lives that we live are being seen. The lives that we live affect people around us… No matter what we do, no matter how far we fall, no matter how far we run away from God, we can turn back. God desires the relationship with us… God calls us back to Himself. No matter where we go, no matter how far we fall, God loves us. He wants us…

There are times in our lives that we do things for people, we lay our lives down for people, we sacrifice who we are and what we have for those around us, we do good because we love the people around us, and then we expect that at least they will treat us right because we’ve helped them. Isn’t that the natural conclusion?…

There are times that we become discouraged. How many of you have ever been discouraged? And especially discouraged about the people who are around you? The people who are supposed to be your friends. The people who are supposed to be helping you. The people that you are supposed to be loving and that they’re supposed to be loving you. We become discouraged because those people seem to have turned against us. But you know what? God wants the relationship on an individual basis with each of us. And you know what? You guys might decide some day to hate me…but no matter what you decide to do, no matter how you decide to live, I have a choice to make. I can love you regardless. I can do what’s right to protect you… We don’t become enemies with those we are related to in heaven. I don’t care what they do, we don’t sue them, I don’t divorce my wife, I don’t take my revenge, I don’t beat people up, I don’t steal from them, and I don’t lie to them even if they have chose in a moment of weakness of flesh to do it to me…

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” So the standard of perfection that we see here — and I know none of us will attain complete and total perfection while we’re in this flesh — but we can be perceived in a perfect manner as our Father in heaven is perfect if we will love our enemies, if we will pray for those who are persecuting us, if we will let God Who loves all men, Who lets the sun shine on the evil as well as the righteous, those who do good and those who do bad get the same rain, the same blessing. “God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish.” God extended His love to all men and understand, each and every one of us at some point in our life were wrapped up so totally in sin that we were out of relationship with God and we had to choose. We had to say, “Lord, it is now time for me to come into relationship with you. Please have me. Lord Jesus, come into my life.” And He loved us, and He forgave us, and He didn’t hold our sins against us… There are people who act like heathens, but you know what? They’re not my enemies. I don’t have to fight them. It is not my place to fight them. It is my place to love them. It is my place to do what is right before them, to be a witness to them in order that they will see the love of God and turn their lives over…

When we depend on God, God proves Himself dependable. When we are fleeing, when we are in times of trouble, when we are having struggles, if we will simply wait on God, God will protect us. God will deal with us. God will give us what we need… Ask yourself: has God called you to something? If God has called you to something, He is going to fulfill His call in your life if you will let Him. He’ll take as long as He needs but He will fulfill that call if you’re trusting. He will protect you. He will bring you through it… We feel that we are being pursued. We feel like the enemy is breathing down our neck, no matter what that enemy is… I don’t care what it is that you feel is pursuing you as an enemy and trying to destroy your life. If you will wait on God, if you will trust the Holy Spirit to deal with you, no matter how close it seems to be, God will call it off. God will deal with it. God will protect you. Sometimes He allows us to even step right into the flame. Sometimes He allows us to feel the pain and the struggle and the suffering of our enemy, whatever that enemy is, but it has been my experience and the experience of so many other believers that if we wait on God, God comes through… Understand, we do not attack one another. If we are brothers and sisters we do not attack each other. And even if we are attacked, we pray for and we love our enemies. Bottomline. Jesus said to do it and in doing it we show a perfection that only comes from God, that can only be equated with God because the world does not know how to do that. The world wants their vengeance. The world wants their pound of flesh. But when we can turn to those who are enemies and love them and do what’s right by them, the world sees that there is a God in heaven… We don’t have to be bitter. We don’t have to be angry. We don’t have to turn on one another. God will deal with it. God knows how to deal with it, and He will deal with it.

Pastor Dave Elkins