|Sunday July 29, 2012
|| Phone: 570.829.5216
|Pastor David Miklas
|Message: Character #6 – Don't Quit
||Text: I Corinthians 15:58
Character – Don’t Quit
Introduction: In I Corinthians 15:58 we read, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." Notice those three words, STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING. They are words that convey the idea of CONTINUING OR REMAINING CONSTANT.
Every Christian has times when he is tempted to throw up his hands in despair and just walk away. Although he is serving God and trying to walk with Him, he is met at every turn with disappointment, frustration, or failure. The pressures mount, as an inner voice says, "Why don't you just quit?"
BUT THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER, for the believer has been called to remain faithful to the end. So, when the pressures mount, you need to be tough enough to resist THE URGE TO QUIT. We seem to live in an age of quitters.
Pastor, I have lost my burden for soul winning. So I just quit doing it.
Pastor, I no longer enjoy reading my Bible as I once did. So I just quit reading it.
Pastor, I don't enjoy coming to church sometimes. So I just quit coming.
Pastor, I used to pray. Now my prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling. So I just quit praying.
Pastor, my marriage has hit a snag. She is not like she used to be. He is not as loving as he once was. So I just quit my marriage.
Pastor, I would like to talk about what I have been doing at church. _______ has became a burden to me, so I want to quit.
Pastor I am going to quit school.
Pastor I am going to quit my job.
In Samuel 4:9 we read “Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.” In I Corinthians 16:13 we read “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” In these verses we are challenged to keep on going. It was Dr. Lee Roberson who used to say, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of quit is “to discontinue, leave, abandon.” No matter what definition a person chooses to use, far too many people are quitters. The word quit is hardly ever used in a good sense. The Christian should live his life as though the word quit did not exist. Therefore, I encourage you to not only remove the word from your vocabulary, but also from your dictionary.
However, to quit doing BAD is GOOD. It is not wrong to quit doing bad. If someone calls another person a quitter because he has given up a bad habit, or bad ways, then quitting is good. God wants every person to be a quitter of doing bad or sinning. In Proverbs 20:3 we read, “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling.” This verse teaches that there is honor in being a quitter in certain areas. To cease from wrong-doing is good.
It is good to be called a quitter if what a person quits is sinful. God’s people should definitely choose to forsake and quit “bad worldly music, bad friends, bad thoughts, bad magazines, bad habits, bad conversation, and bad language.”
Conversely, to quit doing GOOD is BAD. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. often said, “Do RIGHT until the stars fall, DO RIGHT.”He was saying that Christians are not to quit doing right. Here are just a few areas I encourage not to quit doing.
A young person should not quit high school or college.
A married person should not quit on his/her marriage.
A Christian should not quit attending church.
A Christian should not quit reading the Bible nor quit praying.
A Christian should not quit soul winning.
A Christian should not quit telling the truth.
A Christian should not quit being thankful.
A Christian should not quit any good thing that he has started.
A Christian should not quit loving people.
A Christian should not quit hating sin.
A Christian should not quit working hard.
A Christian young person should not quit obeying his parents.
A Christian should not quit trying to succeed.
A Christian should not quit supporting his family.
A Christian should not quit serving at the church.
A Christian should not quit being loyal to his pastor.
A Christian should not quit rearing and training his children.
A Christian should not quit changing for the better.
Finally, quitters are EXCUSE makers: Someone has said that excuses are a dime a dozen. I believe most folks can justify in their own minds a reason for quitting, but God wants His children to finish what they start. The following excuses are not acceptable:
"It is too hard for me." The fact of the matter is that it is no harder for you than it is for others. Doing hard tasks is good for any person.
"I can't!" Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
"I do not know how." Then learn how! A person learns how by asking for and getting help. Any person can seek counsel; he does not have to quit.
"I've never done it before." Well, today’s as good a day as any to experience it.
The story is told of a middle-aged man who was out for a mid-day stroll through a local park. His path took him near a group of boys playing baseball. The sidewalk on which he walked was near the center outfield. The boy playing center field was slapping his hand in his mitt while chattering at the batter.
The middle-aged man got the boy's attention and asked, "How's the game going?"
"Great!" the boy answered – “The score is 100 to 0."
In a shocked voice, the man asked, "Who is ahead?"
In a matter of fact way, the boy commented, "They are."
"Son," the startled man said, "I thought you said the game is going great. Now you tell me the score is 100 to 0, and you're losing. How can that be great?"
The boy, with the glow of hope on his face, said, "Well, Mister, we haven't yet gotten up to bat!"
This boy was not a quitter. He believed his team would get up to bat and make a comeback.
Now I encourage you to listen carefully. Over the years I have seen this situation develop in the lives of many of God's people. I even see it here in this congregation. Here it is. Christians start out growing, serving and living for the Lord. Then the tingle or the charge out of it disappears, and they either quit or throw themselves into neutral.
In I Chronicles 28:1-7 we read,
“And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem. (2) Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: (3) But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (4) Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel: (5) And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. (6) And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. (7) Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.”
Please notice again the last verse, "…I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be CONSTANT to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day". The word "constant" means that you are predictable, that you do not change, that you do not quit. Someone said,
"If you change the basics of what brought you to Christ and made you what you are as a maturing Christian, then not only your life will begin to change but you will also begin to BACKSLIDE in the Christian life until you stop maturing and start to age as a Christian."
Our verse tells us, “…be CONSTANT to do my commandments and my judgments…".
In James 1:22-25 we read,
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: (24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Again please notice in verse 25 the word "CONTINUETH." That tells you to remain constant, keep looking at the Word of God, keep DOING what it tells you to do. If you think about it, you have most of the knowledge you need to live the Christian life. All you need to do is put that knowledge into practice. Keep on doing what you know.
In I Timothy 4:11-16 we read,
“These things command and teach. (12) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (13) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (16) Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Please notice again in verse 16, Timothy was to "Take heed…unto the doctrine; CONTINUE in them…" Timothy was a young man. Paul was admonishing him NOT TO CHANGE. Maturity is not making new decisions; it is developing the decisions we already made. The word "meditate" means, "to practice over and over and over again." In other words, decide when you are young what you believe in doctrine, standards, convictions, service, practice, and in the principles of the Christian life. Then when you begin to grow older – DON'T CHANGE, DON'T QUIT, SETTLE IN, AND KEEP AT IT. “Occupy until Jesus comes.”
When you do that which you ought to do because you ought to do it and not because you like to do it, THAT IS THE DAY YOU MATURE IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
You are not a mature Christian because YOU DO what you like to do when you enjoy doing it.
You became a mature Christian when you come to that place in your Christian life that you do the right thing, regardless. For example: reading the Bible may no longer be an enjoyment, but you read it anyway, because you are supposed to read it.
"WHEN YOU TRANSFER INSPIRATION INTO OBLIGATION AND DO IT WILLINGLY – Bible reading, prayer, soul winning, service for the Lord, marriage or in ministry, then you are a nature Christian."
It’s the same thing with a career. Some time or other, all jobs come to the place where they lose their charm. They lose their glow. The boss is after you, or if you are the boss, you have employee problems. You may think now is the time to change jobs as you drop into despair. BUT, RIGHT HERE IS THE CRITICAL POINT. If you just dutifully continue, one day that duty will again transfer to delight.Here is the point. WHEN YOU SAY, “BY THE GRACE OF GOD, I WILL DO WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO.”
Not because I want to,
Not because I am inspired,
Not because I get great delight out of it, but simply because I am supposed to do it.
At this point, you have understood the principle of being CONSTANT. DOING RIGHT is not always enjoyable, but DOING RIGHT IS ALWAYS RIGHT. And one day, once again, it will become a DELIGHT.
In Ecclesiastes 12:13 we read, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: FEAR GOD and keep his commandments; FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN." Note the word DUTY:
When I think of Duty, I think of the Apostle Paul. Reading the 11th chapter of II Corinthians you will discover what Paul did to create a glory road. He Kept On Keeping On. He did not quit.
When I think of Duty, I think of the Lord Jesus Christ. He could have quit before going to the cross. The Devil was tempting Him and the road was tough. But praise God! It was His LOVE for you and I that drew Him to the cross of Calvary. It was duty to the father, and it was duty to us as sinners. Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost."
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “Character – Don’t Quit”then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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In His Amazing Grace,
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