HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

 TO CONTACT PASTOR EMERITUS

for information on the following sermons:

Jesse Spurlock 

email:  jesse.spurlock@cox.net


 

  SERMON

WEDNESDAY P.M. -  07/07/2019

(PREACHED BY JESSE SPURLOCK, PASTOR EMERITUS)

"REFRESHED IN SPIRIT"

I COR. 16:15-18

INTRODUCTION

THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF REFRESHING AND  MANY  TYPES  OF REFRESHING.  PHYSICAL REFRESHMENT IS SOMETHING NEEDED. SO IS MENTAL REFRESHMENT.  BUT PAUL SPEAKS OF A REFRESHMENT WHICH IS FAR SUPERIOR TO ALL OTHERS - THAT OF SPIRITUAL REFRESHING.  WE MIGHT THINK OF SUCH REFRESHING AS A "RESTING UP OF THE SPIRIT", BUT "REFRESHED" & "RESTING" ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. IN MATT. 11:28-30, JESUS PROMISED "REST UNTO THE SOUL", BUT PAUL SAID THE MEN OF THE HOUSE OF STEPHANUS IN I COR. 16:18, HAD REFRESHED HIS SPIRIT!"REFRESHED" HAS REFERENCE TO A "REJUVENATION", OR A "RECHARGING", SO THAT ENTHUSIASM IS STIRRED UP TO A GREATER WORK. - SORT OF A "SECOND WIND".  IT IS SOMETHING SO NEEDFUL TODAY IN GOD'S WORK.  GOD'S PEOPLE SEEM TO HAVE LOST THEIR ENTHUSIASM, EXCITEMENT, & ZEAL IN THE LORD'S WORK. TURN WITH ME TO AN ACCOUNT IN II TIM. 1:16-18, WHERE PAUL SPOKE OF ANOTHER SAINT, ONESIPHORUS,(TURN & READ). PAUL DECLARED ONESIPHORUS OFTEN REFRESHED HIM, BUT NOT ONLY THAT, BUT HE WASN’T ASHAMED OF HIS CHAINS. HE HAD NOT ONLY COME TO SEE PAUL, BUT HE SOUGHT HIM VERY DILIGENTLY UNTIL HE FOUND HIM. WHEN HE FOUND HIM IN A ROMAN JAIL, HE DIDN’T LET THAT DETER HIM! IT IS VERY INSPIRING TO SEE LORD’S WORKERS  CONCERNED ABOUT OTHER WORKERS - WITH A GENUINE CONCERN REGARDLESS OF WHAT MESS THEY FIND THEMSELVES. WHAT A TRUE REFRESHING TO PAUL.  THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS WE CAN REFRESHEN THE SPIRIT OF OTHERS.  FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE CAN REFRESHEN THE SPIRIT OF OTHERS BY OUR OWN ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS! SO LET US REFRESHEN THE SPIRIT OF EACH OTHER!

I. FIRST, WE CAN REFRESHEN EACH OTHER’S SPIRIT BY REMINDERS.

A. OF COURSE THE FIRST REMINDER IS TO REMIND EACH OTHER OF GOD'S LOVE. IN JOHN 3:16, “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD..”, BUT ALSO A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL IS FOUND IN I JOHN 3:1, "BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HATH BESTOWED UPON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE SONS OF GOD:.." WE NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE REMINDED OF THIS LOVE. HOW REFRESHING IT IS JUST TO THINK ABOUT IT. REMIND ONE ANOTHER WHAT IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO BE A CHILD OF GOD!  BRO. JAY ALMON'S STORY ABOUT THE "JESUS IS LORD" PIN. HEAVIEST PIN HE EVER WORE!

B. REMIND EACH OTHER OF GOD'S PROMISES. HEB. 13:5-6, "..HE HATH SAID, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.."  ROM. 8:31, "IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?" HOW REFRESHING IT IS TO OUR SPIRIT TO BE REMINDED OF GOD'S PROMISES TO US - THAT WE ARE NEVER ALONE. TO BE REMINDED THAT COME WHAT MAY - GOD AND I MAKE A MAJORITY IN ALL CASES.

C. REMIND EACH OTHER OF GOD'S PROVISION. ROM. 8:32, "HE (GOD)THAT SPARED NOT HIS OWN SON, BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL, HOW SHALL HE NOT WITH HIM ALSO FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?"  PHIL. 4:19, "BUT MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS." HOW SOUL STIRRING AND REFRESHING IT IS TO BE REMINDED OF GOD'S CARE AND PROVISION FOR US, AND BE REMINDED OF HOW HE HAS SUPPLIED IN THE PAST.  WHEN WE FORGET, HOW REFRESHING IT IS TO BE REMINDED OF HIS PROVISION.

II. NEXT, WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER BY OUR EXAMPLE. OFTEN, NO WORDS ARE NEEDED!

A. WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER’S SPIRIT BY BEING ENTHUSIASTIC IN OUR WORSHIP. PSA. 122:1, "I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD." HOW INSPIRING AND ENCOURAGING IT IS TO SEE SOMEONE WHO IS TRULY GLAD TO BE IN THE LORD'S HOUSE.  EXAMPLE: BILL RAMEY AT CMBI, ANNOUNCED TEXT AS CHAPTER 4 OF I TIMOTHY, BUT MISTAKENLY STARTED READING IN CHAPTER 4 OF II TIM. REALIZING HE WAS IN THE WRONG CHAPTER, HE SAID, “WELL THAT WASN’T WHAT I WAS GOING TO PREACH, BUT THAT’S JUST SO GOOD, I’M GOING TO PREACH THAT! 

B. WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER’S SPIRIT BY TAKING THE INITIATIVE IN GOD'S SERVICE. PSA. 84:10, "..I HAD RATHER BE A DOORKEEPER IN THE HOUSE OF MY GOD, THAN TO DWELL IN THE TENTS OF WICKEDNESS." HOW GRAND AND REFRESHENING TO SEE CHURCH MEMBERS DO THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE JUST BECAUSE THEY NEED TO BE DONE. VIRGIL RICHARDSON, DEACON AT 5TH ST., MARLOW, PICKING UP TRASH AROUND THE CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK. “JUST NEEDED TO BE DONE!”

C. WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER’S SPIRIT BY BEING EAGER IN OUR WORK. ECCL. 9:10, "WHATSOEVER THY HAND FINDETH TO DO, DO IT WITH THY MIGHT;..." IT REALLY REFRESHENS MY SPIRIT TO SEE PEOPLE TAKE HOLD TO DO THE JOB WITH ZEAL - AS IF IT WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK ON EARTH.  ALL JOBS ARE IMPORTANT. EXAMPLE: JANE IN WELLSTON. LELIA ASKED HER TO CALL ALL THE LADIES IN THE CHURCH ABOUT THEIR MEETING. JANE SAID, “OKAY”. ABOUT 5 MINUTES LATER THE PHONE RANG. IT WAS JANE TELLING LELIA ABOUT THE MEETING!

III. WE CAN REFRESHEN EACH OTHER BY OUR SUPPORT.

        A. WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER’S SPIRIT BY GIVING SUPPORT TO THE LORD'S CHURCH. IT IS THE LORD'S CHURCH. EPH. 3:21, "UNTO HIM BE GLORY IN THE CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS THROUGHOUT ALL AGES, WORLD WITHOUT END. AMEN." IT IS VERY REFRESHENING TO HEAR THE CHURCH DEFENDED AND BUILT UP BY CHURCH MEMBERS.  TOO OFTEN MEMBERS APOLOGETIC ABOUT THE CHURCH AND EVEN SHOW SYMPATHY TOWARD THE CRITICS AND AGREE WITH THEM. I LOVED WHAT BRO. PAT MURPHY SAID ONCE ABOUT THE CHURCH. HE SAID IF THE CHURCH VOTED TO PAINT THE CHURCH BLACK, HE SAID HE WOULD TELL THEM THEY WERE MAKING A MISTAKE, BUT WOULD BE RIGHT THERE BESIDE THEM PAINING IT BLACK - AND WOULD BE RIGHT THERE BESIDE THEM A MONTH LATER PAINTING IT WHITE AGAIN WHEN THEY REALIZED THEIR MISTAKE. 

B. WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER’S SPIRIT BY GIVING SUPPORT TO THE LORD'S PASTOR. HE BELONGS TO THE LORD. ACTS 20:28, "TAKE HEED THEREFORE UNTO YOURSELVES, AND TO ALL THE FLOCK, OVER THE WHICH THE HOLY GHOST HATH MADE YOU OVERSEERS, TO FEED THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH HE HATH PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD." IN HEB. 13:17,THE WRITER GAVE THE ADMONITION TO SUPPORT THE LORD'S PASTOR. "OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, AND SUBMIT YOURSELVES: FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT, THAT THEY MAY DO IT WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF: FOR THAT IS UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU." IT IS VERY UPLIFTING, ESPECIALLY TO THE PASTOR, TO KNOW CHURCH MEMBERS ARE SUPPORTING HIM AND PRAYING FOR HIM, AND IF NECESSARY, DEFENDING HIM AGAINST HIS CRITICS. 

C. WE CAN REFRESHEN ONE ANOTHER’S SPIRIT BY GIVING SUPPORT TO THE LORD'S WORK. PAUL GAVE THAT DIRECTION IN I COR. 3:7-9, "SO THEN NEITHER IS HE THAT PLANTETH ANY THING, NEITHER HE THAT WATERETH; BUT GOD THAT GIVETH THE INCREASE. NOW HE THAT PLANTETH AND HE THAT WATERETH ARE ONE: AND EVERY MAN SHALL RECEIVE HIS OWN REWARD ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOUR. FOR WE ARE LABOURERS TOGETHER WITH GOD: YE ARE GOD'S HUSBANDRY, YE ARE GOD'S BUILDING." IT IS VERY REFRESHING TO SEE A LACK OF JEALOUSY. ALL MEMBERS PULLING EQUALLY TOGETHER FOR THE PROGRESS OF THE LORD'S WORK, AS IF IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO GETS THE CREDIT, AS LONG AS THE CHURCH AND THE LORD'S WORK BENEFITS. 

IV. NEXT, LET US CONSIDER THE RESULTS OF REFRESHING ONE ANOTHER'S SPIRIT.

A. FIRST, THERE IS A BLESSING TO THE ONE BEING REFRESHED. PHIL. 1:3-6, "I THANK MY GOD UPON EVERY REMEMBRANCE OF YOU, ALWAYS IN EVERY PRAYER OF MINE FOR YOU ALL MAKING REQUEST WITH JOY, FOR YOUR FELLOWSHIP IN THE GOSPEL FROM THE FIRST DAY UNTIL NOW; BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS VERY THING, THAT HE WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST:" VERY FEW MORE BLESSED THOUGHTS IN THE MINISTRY THAN TO REMEMBER FAITHFUL ENTHUSIASTIC WORKERS IN THE LORD'S WORK.  OFTEN IT WAS THOSE WHO KEPT ME GOING THROUGHOUT MY MINISTRY.

B. THEN, THERE IS A BLESSING TO THE ONE DOING THE REFRESHING. HEB. 6:10, "FOR GOD IS NOT UNRIGHTEOUS TO FORGET YOUR WORK AND LABOUR OF LOVE, WHICH YE HAVE SHOWED TOWARD HIS NAME, IN THAT YE HAVE MINISTERED TO THE SAINTS, AND DO MINISTER." IF WE BUILD UP AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS, THE LORD HAS A SPECIAL BLESSING IN STORE FOR US. ONE TIME, BRO. DILLARD WAS PRESIDENT OF OMBC, AND WAS GOING THROUGH SOME VERY ROUGH TIMES WITH A LOT OF UNJUSTIFIED CRITICISM.  I WROTE HIM A LETTER TO LET HIM KNOW I WAS PRAYING FOR HIM AND TO ENCOURAGE HIM TO KEEP ON KEEPING ON.  HE TOLD ME LATER THAT LETTER CAME AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME. HE WAS JUST ABOUT TO THROW IN THE TOWEL, BUT INSTEAD KEPT ON GOING.

C. NEXT, THERE IS A BLESSING TO THE CHURCH BECAUSE OF THE REFRESHING DONE. I THESS. 1:7-8, "SO THAT YE WERE ENSAMPLES TO ALL THAT BELIEVE IN MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA. FOR FROM YOU SOUNDED OUT THE WORD OF THE LORD NOT ONLY IN MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA, BUT ALSO IN EVERY PLACE YOUR FAITH TO GOD-WARD IS SPREAD ABROAD; SO THAT WE NEED NOT TO SPEAK ANY THING." HOW JOYOUS TO ME TO HAVE OTHER PASTORS MAKE COMMENTS ABOUT THE CHURCH WHERE I PASTORED. HOW GREAT AND REFRESHING TO ATTEND SERVICES WHERE THE FELLOWSHIP AND HARMONY IS NOTICEABLE. HOW BLESSED IT IS TO ATTEND HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH! 

D. THEN, THERE IS A BLESSING TO THE COMMUNITY WHERE THE CHURCH IS LOCATED. MATT. 5:14, JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES OF THE FIRST CHURCH, "YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A CITY THAT IS SET ON AN HILL CANNOT BE HID." PROV. 11:10, THE WRITER STATED, "WHEN IT GOETH WELL WITH THE RIGHTEOUS, THE CITY REJOICETH: AND WHEN THE WICKED PERISH, THERE IS SHOUTING." IT IS ALWAYS A BENEFIT AND BLESSING TO THE COMMUNITY TO HAVE AN ENTHUSIASTIC AND ACTIVE CHURCH IN THEIR COMMUNITY.  WE SEE THAT WAS ALSO THE CASE OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB.  EACH AREA AND PEOPLE THEY ASSOCIATED WITH WERE BLESSED BECAUSE OF THE BLESSINGS POURED OUT UPON THEM. THE CITY OF MIDWEST CITY IS BLESSED BECAUSE HIGHLAND PARK IS HERE AND RESPECTED BY THE CITY LEADERS! 

V. SUMMARY:

A. WE MAY REFRESHEN EACH OTHER'S SPIRIT BY REMINDING EACH OTHER OF EVERYTHING THAT GOD HAS DONE AND IS DOING FOR US.

B. WE MAY REFRESHEN EACH OTHER'S SPIRIT BY BEING AN EXAMPLE TO EACH OTHER IN ALL THAT WE DO IN THE LORD'S SERVICE.

C. WE MAY REFRESHEN EACH OTHER'S SPIRIT BY GETTING BEHIND THE LORD'S WORK, HIS PEOPLE, AND HIS PREACHERS, IN EVERY PHASE WE CAN.

D. WE MAY REFRESHEN EACH OTHER'S SPIRIT BY OUR OWN ATTITUDE AND ACTIONS.

E. EVERYONE AROUND US IS BLESSED BY OUR  REFRESHING EACH OTHERS' SPIRITS.


SERMON

SUNDAY P.M. - 04/07/2019

(PREACHED BY JESSE SPURLOCK, PASTOR EMERITUS)


"BENAIAH, THE LION SLAYER"

I CHRON. 11:20-25

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 11, I CHRON. TELLS OF DAVID BECOMING KING OVER ALL OF ISRAEL AND HIS SUCCESSES. THEN, IN VERSE 10, WE ARE TOLD OF HIS “MIGHTY MEN”, GIVING HIS CHAIN OF COMMAND. VERSE 20 SPEAKS OF ONE OF HIS CHIEF OF STAFF, BENAIAH, HIS BEST OF THE BEST AND HIS FEATS. WE WILL LOOK AT THESE IN VERSES 20-25.

BENAIAH WAS DAVID'S BODYGUARD - AND A MIGHTY  MAN  OF  GOD.  WHEN DAVID WAS GROWING MORE POWERFUL, HE GATHERED AROUND HIM A GROUP OF MEN TO SUPPORT HIS KINGSHIP. ROBIN HOOD MAY HAVE HAD HIS "MERRY" MEN, BUT DAVID HAD HIS "MIGHTY" MEN.  THERE WERE ACTUALLY TWO SEPARATE GROUPS OF MIGHTY MEN: THE THREE AND THE THIRTY. THERE WERE HIS THREE TOP GENERALS AND HIS 30 COMMANDERS OF DIVISIONS OF HIS ARMY.  THE BIBLE SAYS OF ALL OF THEM THAT THEY "PERFORMED GREAT EXPLOITS".  IN VS. 24, THE THREE TOP GENERALS ALL AGREED THAT THE BEST OF THE 30 MIGHTY MEN, THE CREAM OF THE CROP, THE STANDOUT AMONG HIS PEERS, THE NUMBER ONE WARRIOR, WAS WITHOUT CONTEST A MAN BY THE NAME OF BENAIAH. AS A RESULT, HE WAS CHOSEN TO BE DAVID'S PERSONAL BODY GUARD. BECAUSE HIS LIFE WAS ALWAYS IN DANGER, DAVID NEEDED A MAN HE COULD TRUST - A MAN WITH COURAGE, CONSISTENCY AND CHARACTER. A MAN LIKE BENAIAH. A VALIANT WARRIOR, BENAIAH, HAD STRUCK DOWN TWO OF MOAB'S BEST MEN AND HAD, (CALLED LION-LIKE MEN), WITH NOTHING BUT A CLUB IN HIS HAND, DEFEATED AN EGYPTIAN ABOUT THE SIZE OF GOLIATH BY TAKING HIS WEAPON FROM HIM AND KILLING HIM WITH HIS OWN SPEAR. BUT THAT WASN'T ALL. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT BENAIAH HAD ALSO GONE DOWN INTO A PIT AND KILLED A LION ON A SNOWY DAY. MOAB REPRESENTS THE FLESH, AND EGYPT WAS A TYPE OF THE WORLD. BOTH WERE ENEMIES TO ISRAEL, BUT IT IS THE LION THAT INTRIGUES ME. ALTHOUGH THE LION ITSELF DIDN’T REPRESENT A NATION, AS SUCH, IT DOES REPRESENT A KNOWN ENEMY OF ISRAEL AND ALL MANKIND - THAT IS SATAN HIMSELF.  THE CONTEST BETWEEN BENAIAH AND THE LION IS THE INTRIGUING PART OF THIS STORY, SO LET'S CONSIDER THAT NOW.

I. BENAIAH FACED THE WORSE ENEMY IMAGINABLE - A LION.  I CAN'T THINK OF A WORSE NIGHTMARE THAN TO FACE A RAGING, 500 LB. FEROCIOUS LION - IN "HAND TO HAND COMBAT."  A LION IS UNPREDICTABLE, HAS TERRIBLE TEETH AND CLAWS AND ENOUGH POWER IN ONE PAW TO RIP APART ANY HUMAN IN HIS WAY.  HOWEVER, GOD COMPARES OUR ENEMY, SATAN, TO A ROARING LION, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR.

A. CONSIDER THE DESCRIPTION OF OUR LION. I PET. 5:8, "BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT; BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR:" SEEKING WHOM HE MAY "DEVOUR" EXACTLY DESCRIBES THE VICIOUSNESS OF SATAN. NOT ONLY WILL KILL, BUT IS ABLE TO TOTALLY DESTROY AND ANNIHILATE! 

B. CONSIDER THE DETERMINATION OF OUR LION. JOHN SAW THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF SATAN, BUT WHAT HE SAID OF HIM THERE SHOWS HIS DETERMINATION TOWARD US OF THIS PRESENT DAY.  REV. 12:10, "... THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN IS CAST DOWN, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT." WE SAW THIS BACK IN JOB'S DAY, AND IT IS STILL GOING ON TODAY. SATAN IS DETERMINED TO DESTROY US IN ANY WAY HE CAN. HE ACCUSES US BEFORE GOD ALL THE TIME. 

C. CONSIDER THE DECEPTION OF OUR LION.  JESUS DECLARED OF HIM IN JOHN 8:44 THAT HE WAS, "...A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, AND ABODE NOT IN THE TRUTH, BECAUSE THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. WHEN HE SPEAKETH A LIE, HE SPEAKETH OF HIS OWN: FOR HE IS A LIAR, AND THE FATHER OF IT." SATAN WILL TELL US A LIE WHEN THE TRUTH WOULD BETTER SERVE HIS PURPOSES.  HE IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED.  AS THE STORY GOES: "HOW CAN YOU TELL HE/SHE IS LYING?" ANSWER: "WHEN THEIR MOUTH IS MOVING."

D. CONSIDER THE DEVASTATION IF OUR LION.  IN EPH. 6:12, PAUL TELLS US THE TOOLS AVAILABLE TO OUR LION - THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS OF THIS WORLD. "FOR WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES." SATAN HAS AT HIS DISPOSAL ALL THE POWERS AND WICKED WORLD LEADERS OF THE WORLD.  HE WILL USE THEM AGAINST GOD'S PEOPLE.  THE TEETH AND CLAWS OF A LION ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE TEETH AND CLAWS OF OUR LION - SATAN. THE LITERAL LION CAN ONLY DESTROY PHYSICALLY. OUR LION - SATAN - CAN NOT ONLY DESTROY PHYSICALLY, BUT ALSO SPIRITUALLY. AS SEEN IN COURT DECISIONS, STATEMENTS BY POLITICAL LEADERS.

II. NOT ONLY WAS IT THE WORSE ENEMY, BUT BENAIAH'S BATTLE WAS IN THE WORSE PLACE.  IT WAS DOWN IN A PIT. THERE WAS NO BACK DOOR OR WAY OF ESCAPE OR RETREAT.  OUR LION WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE THE WORSE PLACE FOR US IN HIS ATTACK.  THE PIT WOULD BE A DARK PLACE WHICH GAVE ADVANTAGE TO THE LION. THEY CAN LITERALLY “SEE IN THE DARK”.  EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE STACKED AGAINST BENAIAH.

A. SATAN WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE HIS GROUND FOR THE BATTLE.  IT WILL NOT BE LEFT UP TO US. CONSIDER THE ACCOUNT OF A MAN NAMED SHAMMAH IN II SAM. 23:11-12, "AND AFTER HIM WAS SHAMMAH THE SON OF AGEE THE HARARITE. AND THE PHILISTINES WERE GATHERED TOGETHER INTO A TROOP, WHERE WAS A PIECE OF GROUND FULL OF LENTILES: AND THE PEOPLE FLED FROM THE PHILISTINES. BUT HE STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THE GROUND, AND DEFENDED IT, AND SLEW THE PHILISTINES: AND THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY." "LENTILES" WERE BEANS. SHAMMAH STOOD AND DEFENDED A BEAN PATCH AGAINST OVERWHELMING ODDS. OTHERS MAY NOT HAVE CONSIDERED THE BEAN PATCH WORTH THE BATTLE, BUT SHEMMAH DID.  HE DIDN'T CHOOSE THE BEAN PATCH, BUT THIS WAS WHERE THE CHALLENGE CAME AND THIS WAS WHERE HE STOOD TO FIGHT AND OVERCOME THE ENEMY. HIS ACTIONS DECLARED WHAT PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN STATED YEARS AGO, “LET THE ENEMY KNOW, THERE IS A LINE BEYOND WHICH WE SHALL NOT RETREAT!”

B. SATAN WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE HIS SUBJECT FOR THE BATTLE. IT WILL NOT BE LEFT UP TO US. MY RELIGIOUS DISCUSSIONS HAVE ALMOST ALWAYS BEEN BROUGHT UP BY OTHERS, AND IT SEEMS TO ALMOST ALWAYS BE ABOUT SOMETHING I'M LEAST PREPARED FOR OR AT LEAST DESIRE TO DISCUSS, USUALLY SOMETHING CONTROVERSIAL.  HOWEVER, PAUL ADMONISHES US IN EPH. 6:11 TO, "PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE WILES OF THE DEVIL."  IN VERSE 13, HE CONTINUES, "WHEREFORE TAKE UNTO YOU THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY, AND HAVING DONE ALL, TO STAND." WE ARE TO BE PREPARED FOR THE BATTLE IN WHATEVER BIBLE SUBJECT SATAN SPRINGS ON US. KEEP IN MIND THAT WE DON'T HAVE TO HAVE THE ANSWER TO EVERY POSSIBLE BIBLE QUESTION. OFTEN, I'VE HAD TO TELL THE PERSON, "I'LL FIND OUT AND GET BACK TO YOU ON THAT!" ONE OF SATAN'S TRAPS IS TO GET US TO GIVE A FALSE ANSWER RATHER THAN ADMIT THAT WE DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER. 

C. SATAN WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE THE INTENSITY OF THE BATTLE - WHEN WE ARE LEAST PREPARED FOR IT. LOOK TO THE CASE OF JOB.  IN CHAPTER 1, SATAN CHALLENGED GOD ABOUT TAKING EVERYTHING JOB HAD.  WHEN GOD ALLOWED IT, SATAN TOOK EVERYTHING THAT JOB HAD.  IN JOB 2:4-7, SATAN CHALLENGED GOD TO LET HIM HAVE A SHOT AT JOB'S PERSON.  LISTEN TO WHAT GOD TOLD HIM. IN VERSE 6, "AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, BEHOLD, HE IS IN THINE HAND; BUT SAVE HIS LIFE." IN VERSE 7, LOOK AT WHAT IT SAYS, "SO WENT SATAN FORTH FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND SMOTE JOB WITH SORE BOILS FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN." SATAN TOOK AS MUCH GROUND AS GOD PERMITTED.  HE DID EVERYTHING EXCEPT TAKE HIS LIFE.  HAD GOD NOT PUT THAT RESTRICTION ON HIM, HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN JOB'S LIFE AS WELL. 

III. NOT ONLY WAS IT THE WORST ENEMY IN THE WORST PLACE, BUT IT WAS THE WORST TIME - ON A "SNOWY DAY" WHEN VISIBILITY WAS POOR, MOVEMENT WAS SLOW, THE FOOTING WAS SLIPPERY, AND THE WEATHER WAS COLD AND DAMP.  BUT BENAIAH WAS NOT AFRAID TO FACE THE LION, THE PLACE, OR THE TIMING.  WHAT AN EXAMPLE FOR US!  SATAN WILL ATTACK WHEN OUR CONDITIONS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE AND DANGEROUS, OR EVEN WORSE, IF POSSIBLE.

  A. BECAUSE OF OUR ENEMY, WE ARE TO REMEMBER OUR ADMONITION. II TIM. 4:2, "PREACH THE WORD; BE INSTANT IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE." OUR TIME IS NEVER GOING TO BE JUST RIGHT TO PREACH THE WORD.  PAUL SAID BE READY WHETHER IT SEEMS THE RIGHT TIME OR PLACE OR NOT.  BE READY AT ALL TIME TO DO IT.

B. BECAUSE OF OUR ENEMY, WE ARE TO REMEMBER OUR GOAL. ECCL. 11:4, "HE THAT OBSERVETH THE WIND SHALL NOT SOW; AND HE THAT REGARDETH THE CLOUDS SHALL NOT REAP." WE ARE NOT TO WAIT UNTIL ALL THE CONDITIONS ARE JUST RIGHT TO DO BATTLE WITH SATAN.  THEY WILL NEVER BE JUST RIGHT.  THIS PASSAGE REMINDS ME OF SOME FARMERS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP.  THEY WERE ALWAYS WAITING UNTIL THE PRICES OF CATTLE WAS JUST RIGHT TO "BUY LOW AND SELL HIGH."  AS A RESULT THEY NEVER BOUGHT WHEN THE PRICES WERE “LOW”, AND THEREFORE, NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO SELL WHEN THE PRICES WERE HIGH.

C. BECAUSE OF OUR ENEMY, WE ARE TO REMEMBER OUR TESTIMONY, AS GIVEN IN I PET. 3:15, "BUT SANCTIFY THE LORD GOD IN YOUR HEARTS: AND BE READY ALWAYS TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKETH YOU A REASON OF THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU WITH MEEKNESS AND FEAR:"  SATAN WILL CHOOSE FOR US THE WORSE TIME FOR OUR WITNESSING.  HE WILL TRY TO CATCH US WHEN WE MIGHT BE EMBARRASSED TO DISCUSS SPIRITUAL THINGS.  IF WE GO AHEAD AND WITNESS, SATAN IS ALMOST ALWAYS DEFEATED BECAUSE IT WILL BACKFIRE ON HIM,

D. BECAUSE OF OUR ENEMY, WE ARE TO REMEMBER OUR URGENCY. JESUS TOLD US TO ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THE SHORTNESS OF OUR TIME. JOHN 4:35, "SAY NOT YE, THERE ARE YET FOUR MONTHS, AND THEN COMETH HARVEST? BEHOLD, I SAY UNTO YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, AND LOOK ON THE FIELDS; FOR THEY ARE WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST."  SATAN WILL WHISPER IN OUR EAR THAT WE HAVE PLENTY OF TIME - THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A BETTER TIME AND PLACE.  BENAIAH SETS A TREMENDOUS EXAMPLE FOR US TO DO THE BATTLE WHEN IT IS PRESENTED, WHETHER WE THINK WE ARE READY OR NOT.

IV. ALTHOUGH BENAIAH'S BATTLE WAS WITH THE WORSE ENEMY, IN THE WORSE TIME, AND IN THE WORSE PLACE, WE SEE THE BEST VICTORY OUTLINED.  IT SAYS, "HE KILLED A LION." THIS SYMBOLIZES OUR GREATEST VICTORY OVER SATAN.

A. THROUGH CHRIST, WE ARE CONQUERORS. ROM. 8:37, "NAY, IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US." BENAIAH CONQUERED HIS LION THROUGH COURAGE, CONVICTION, AND CHARACTER.  ONLY THROUGH CHRIST CAN WE CONQUER OVER OUR LION - SATAN.

B. THROUGH CHRIST,WE ARE CONQUERS & OVERCOMERS. I JOHN 5:4-5, "FOR WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH. WHO IS HE THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD?" BENAIAH OVERCAME HIS LION THROUGH HIS COURAGE, CONVICTION, AND HIS CHARACTER.  ONLY THROUGH CHRIST CAN WE OVERCOME OUR LION - SATAN, 

C. THROUGH CHRIST, WE ARE CONQUERS & OVERCOMERS AND WE ARE VICTORS. PSA. 98:1-2, "O SING UNTO THE LORD A NEW SONG; FOR HE HATH DONE MARVELLOUS THINGS: HIS RIGHT HAND, AND HIS HOLY ARM, HATH GOTTEN HIM THE VICTORY. THE LORD HATH MADE KNOWN HIS SALVATION: HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS HATH HE OPENLY SHOWED IN THE SIGHT OF THE HEATHEN."  BENAIAH WAS VICTORIOUS AGAINST HIS LION THROUGH HIS COURAGE, CONVICTION, AND HIS CHARACTER.  ONLY THROUGH CHRIST CAN WE BE VICTORIOUS AGAINST OUR LION - SATAN. 

D. THROUGH CHRIST, WE ARE NOT ONLY CONQUERORS,  OVERCOMERS, AND VICTORS, BUT WE ARE ALSO OVERWHELMERS. PHIL 4:13, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME." JESUS ALSO GAVE US THAT SAME THOUGHT IN JOHN 15:5, "..WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING." THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR THAT ALL OUR STRENGTH IS IN CHRIST - WITHOUT HIM WE HAVE NOTHING, WE ARE NOTHING, AND WE WILL ALWAYS BE NOTHING.

V. SUMMARY:

A. BENAIAH WENT DOWN INTO A PIT AND SLEW A LION ON A SNOWY DAY.  HE HAD THE WORSE ENEMY, THE WORSE PLACE AND THE WORSE TIME.  OUR BATTLES WITH OUR LION - SATAN, IS MUCH THE SAME.

B. BENAIAH IS OUR EXAMPLE OF A COURAGEOUS MAN OF GOD, WHO DID BATTLE FOR GOD AND OVERCAME.

C. WHAT IS YOUR LION TODAY?

D. JUST REMEMBER THAT WHEN WE FEEL LIKE ANYTHING BUT A MIGHTY MAN OF GOD, BUT THAT’S EXACTLY WHEN GOD CAN AND WILL USE US. WE SERVE A MIGHTY GOD WHO IS ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS THROUGH US, WHEN WE ALLOW HIM TO WORK IN OUR LIFE.