“‘I AM SATISFIED WITH YOU, LORD’ REALLY?”
Camp Lookout 2019 August 21, 2019
Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Speaking
TODAY’S SPECIAL: “Stingy Rich Man”
A crumbling old church building needed remodeling, so, during his sermon, the preacher made an impassioned appeal looking directly at the richest man in town.
At the end of the sermon, the rich man stood up and announced, “Pastor, I will contribute $1,000.”
Just then, plaster fell from the ceiling and struck the rich man on the shoulder. He promptly stood back up and shouted, “Pastor, I will increase my donation to $5,000.”
Before he could sit back down, plaster fell on him again, and again he virtually screamed, “Pastor, I will double my last pledge.”
He sat down, and a larger chunk of plaster fell on his head. He stood up once more and hollered, “Pastor, I will give $20,000!”
This prompted a deacon to shout, “Hit him again, Lord! Hit him again!”
“God Bless America” is a good theme for this week’s camp
Illustration: Yesterday I was following what I believe is the most patriotic truck I’ve ever seen! In the rear window were 3 decals: first, a decal of the American Flag; second, an Harley-Davidson decal; and then third, completing this wonderful ode to our country’s great values, a decal of the Miami Dolphins. Wow! You can’t get more patriotic than that.
As you may know by now, our patriotic hymn, “America the Beautiful,” was written by a schoolteacher named Katharine Lee Bates in 1882. Having climbed to the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado, the view inspired her to write this hymn. The hymn was originally entitled “Pike’s Peak”, but by 1902 it had been changed to “America the Beautiful.” Note the words to the second stanza:
O beautiful for Pilgrim feet, whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat, across the wilderness!
America, America, God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self control, Thy liberty in law.
What would happen to our nation, to our church, to us, if suddenly each of the believers in particular suddenly were gripped with the spirit of “self-control”, or as is often called in Scripture, “satisfied”? What would the church look like? What would our nation look like? What would you and I look like?
AND how do we get there?
In the time we have together tonight, I want to share several Scriptural principles along with some applications of those principles. May the Lord use His word tonight to give us a fresh spirit of what it means to be a Christian that truly blesses America, much less is blessed by God!
There are 68 instances in which the word “satisfy” or variations appear in Scriptures. Let’s look at a few of them and ask ourselves the question, “does my life show that I am satisfied, truly satisfied, with You alone, Lord?”
PRINCIPLE #1: LAW OF FIRST USE (Exodus 15, esp. vs. 9-11)
Point: to show that the first use is God’s challenge that the enemy does NOT want God’s people to be satisfied in Him. Rather, the enemy wants His people to seek things first rather than seek Him first.
PRINCIPLE #2: LAW OF LIFE’S LESSON (Proverbs 19:23)
We either have the “fear of the enemy” or we have the “fear of the Lord”. Which or Who is our true satisfaction?
PRINCIPLE #3:GOD’S LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN (Dan. 3:16-19)
Key phrase: “but if not” (v. 18). That phrase is key to being satisfied.
At every crossroads of faith is the reality that a choice must be made.
There are only 12 chapters in the Book of Ecclesiastes. So if you wanted to, you could easily read the book through 3 times a month. This short book deals with the hunger of man for God and how man, as illustrated through the life of Solomon, has tried everything BUT God first in order to, ready?, satisfy that hunger. Let’s look at 3 of the instances that “satisfied” is used in this book, and through those uses make application to our principles.
APPLICATION #1: the world system is inherently empty (Ecc. 1:1-8,14)
APPLICATION #2: the toil of the world is inherently empty (Ecc. 4:4-8)
APPLICATION #3:the riches of the world are inherently empty (Ecc. 5:10-12)
#1 An illustration: From Frank Becker’s “Depression Proof Church”
A church that is truly satisfied is one which has no overhead debt and can be free to give 100% to missions. How about your church? My church?
Ask: which is greater, our debt for the building or our giving to missions? THAT is the criteria whereby we know our church is…satisfied before God.
#2 An invitation: From Isaiah 55:1-3
To breathe in the fear of the Lord and find true satisfaction in Him alone, initially through the cross, and throughout life through communion with Him and showing one’s life as proof that His fear, His worship alone satisfies the soul!
close in prayer