16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
1 Kings 19:15-21
15 Then the LORD said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 19 So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
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Morning a message a title when God calls and you know sometimes when God calls it’s that still small voice in I’m going to be speaking about different things but you know we’re all here because one point god called God called us God spoke to our hearts and praise the Lord as you said yes you’ve said yes to God You’ve said yes to that tug at your heart but you know the call to answer him in his call for salvation is just a beginning it’s a beginning of that journey of faith that we are own We’re all still in that journey you know I think back to some different from years gone by in our lives whenever we answered a call to God to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and then begin to grow in our walk with the lower I remember a Sunday evening when we had a special guest there to invite those who would want to come on a missionary trip to South Carolina to get on air and help do repairs after Hurricane Hugo went through and I just really felt that tugging in my heart if you will or that still small voice saying you should go should help with that so I just really felt that call but as we go home and pray about it we talk about it there were just serve many obstacles that were in the way so many obstacles to prevent me from going to answering that call that tug at my heart one of those obstacles was my wife had a job at a flower shop and I needed to be there to get the children and to get dinner prepared so many things. Well wouldn’t you know it in a week’s time my wife was let go from that job at the flower shop those obstacles removed that still small voice and God remove all the obstacles in the way for me answering that call so I did go on a missionary trip and then she eventually found another job a better job. I remember the call Ana I don’t know if it was just a church one Sunday morning or an evening that pastor there who’s actually in our presence today. Invited those that would like to to go to a Lay speaking class again I felt that tug that still small voice speaking to my heart. You know noise is not always allowed but is that nudge of your heart that same nugget you felt felt when God was calling you when God calls. When God calls are we willing to follow are we willing to answer the call that he places on our lives I pray that we will be as we continue on our journey of faith you know there may be something next year or next month or couple years from now the guy might be calling you to do but when he calls be faithful know that he will be with you before I read to Scripture Let’s have a word of prayer Heavenly Father we thank you and praise you for your call in all of our lives we thank you that you’ve called us to believe on your Son Jesus Christ we thank you that you’ve called us for whatever ministry that you have us involved in today but follow God I pray that as we work to your word today in and live your spirit to speak to us Father that we would recognize you we recognize your color and lies but we also recognize that you are with us that you’re with us through every step of the way for whatever path that you want to take us down father we know that your God We know that there is nothing impossible for you Father help us to be faithful to you may your spirit be upon us today but may your spirit guide is in direct us each and every day in all that we do while they help us to bring glory and honor to your name in Jesus’ name amen. So I want to be reading this morning from a couple different passages want to begin with the New Testament Matthew nineteen versus sixteen through twenty second twenty six and also going to Reading from first kings and this first one is the Jesus interaction with the rich young man were sixteen now behold one came and said to him good teacher what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life so he said to him Why do you call me good no one is good but one that is God But if you want to enter into life keep the commandments so he said to him which ones OK Lord that’s just tell me which ones I should keep Jesus said You shall not murder you shall not commit adultery you shall not steal you shall not bear false witness honor your father and mother and you shall love your neighbor as yourself the young man said to him all these things I have kept from my youth What do I still lack. That reflects something doesn’t it he still felt unfulfilled didn’t what do I lack he knew that there was something misson Jesus said to him if you want to be perfect go sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have trays are in Heaven and come and follow me but when the young man heard that say he want to weigh sorrowful for he had great possessions then Jesus said to His disciples assuredly I say to you that is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven and again I say to you it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God and when the when his disciples heard it they were greatly astonished saying Who then can be saved but Jesus looked at them and said to them with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible you know I have heard many speak of. About this I have the camel through the eye of the needle and I’ve heard it explained that there was a a gay more of the walls that was very narrow and low and that they wanted to go through there if you want to take their camel through there they had to unload the camel and get the camel had to get the camel to go down as needs to crawl through there now rather that story is true or not if there was an actual gate but I think the most important thing that we have to grass from this. I think of a camel going through the eyes of a needle It’s impossible impossible but the important thing we understand that is with God nothing is impossible a rich man can enter that taking him to God It is possible just as possible it is for a poor man to enter the Kingdom of God God can make it happen. Now the second scripture This is the calling of the life ship first Kings nineteen fifteen through twenty one. Then the Lord said to him Go return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus and begin to Elijah here and when you arrive anoint as king over Syria also you shall know Jay who the son of Nim shy as king over Israel in a lie Shia the son of so that of Abel Mo you shall neuer as prophet in your place it shall be that whoever escapes the sword of HAS A O J You will kill and whoever escape the sword J.Q. it will kill yet I have reserve seven thousand and Israel all whose knees have not bowed to bale and every mouth that has not kissed him so he departed from there and found. The son of so that who was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen before him and he was with the twelfth then he logic passed by him and threw his mantle on him and he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said please let. Me kissed my father and mother and then I will follow you and he said to him go back again for what have I done to you so he lies to turn back from him he took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and bore their flats using the ox as equipment and gave it to the people and they ate and then heroes and followed it and became his servant may God it is blessings to the hearing and reading of His Holy Word now these two passages have one common theme. It’s God calling is God calling these men to follow him he’s calling these men to commit their lives unto him. Of course the passage in Matthew Jesus was calling this rich young man. To possibly be one of his disciples to think about this if that young man would have said yes we don’t know what he’s name was but there may have been another book in this Bible that may have been written by the young man if he was willing to say yes to Jesus that day but he did not. God was calling to follow the logic that he may become the successor to the logic to be the prophet for the nation of Israel. Both men had a very important decision to make Didn’t a decision whether or not they were willing to make the necessary commitment and dedication to follow God to follow God’s plan for their lives. Let’s begin with the rich young ruler this man was a man of impeccable character Jesus told him that you must keep the commandments of God and the young man responded by saying all of these I have kept from my youth from my use with all the temptations as with come with use especially a wealthy use this is very commendable that he had kept all the commandments his parents must have been so proud. Because he’s mentioned honor your father and mother I have kept all the Z. all these all these years his parents I’m sure were proud he was probably a honor roll student made wonderful grades says he was wealthy apparently he may split it into day standards he went on to college found a successful job was wealthy was doing well for himself love these parents honored spare us was a faithful young man faithful young man but apparently again there was something missing in his life he desired eternal life he wanted that assurance Lord What must I do. He was a great guy. But yet what was his error error he clung to his riches he clung to all those things that he had accumulated over the years he made riches his idol. Jesus knows the heart of every one of us he knows the desires of the heart he knows if there is anything that will hinder us from following him fully from completely dedicating our lives to Him Jesus is not condemning wealth he does not insist for he does insist that a man does not place his wealth before God a man can have great wealth but it cannot come before God. We must not love our money more than our God Luke sixteen thirteen says no servant can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other you cannot serve God and Mammon the rich young you run young ruler say that three times fast the rich young ruler went away sad because he had great possessions. Perhaps he should have followed Proverbs thirty verses eight nine remove false hood and lies from far from me give me neither poverty nor riches feed me with the food allotted to me lest I be full and deny you and say Who is the Lord or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of the Lord. House said there was a call of Jesus Christ upon his heart his life and he just turned away he entered a not a word he turned away sad and walked away because of his earthly riches he would not let go with them. Let’s look to a lodging Eliza our second example the passing of the mantle from Elijah to Eliza the Hebrew prophet wore a mantle way uniform if you will to distinguish his office the mantle was a good skin covering with the hair side worn out when a senior proffered was to designate his successor and transfer his power to him he draped his mantle over him momentarily to the ancients such actions were not merely symbolic but regarded as actual means which the charismatic gift of the prophet was transferred to his successor. Wasn’t just symbolic they actually believe that there was a transfer of the power to his successor Eliza’s response to a lodges gesture makes it clear that he understood the significance of what just happened to him that day as he was out there plowing in the field he was out there plowing most common eight commentators do not give much insight into a license oxen but some of those say that well he was out there he was ploughing with twelve yoke of ox before him he had a great amount of oxen before him but you know as I know a little bit about farming and I understand that back then it was very crude you know today yes we have huge tractors with plows that can be six seven or a plow sheers wide and plow a very wide swath of earth but we know that back in that day that it was probably a single plow that had wooden handles coming up off of it with straps going to the oxen so the chances are there was is a single plow. Brothers and Sisters it wouldn’t take twelve ox to oxen’s or huge probably fifteen hundred pounds at least very strong massive creatures it would not take twelve yoke of oxen to pull one single plow Now here’s where I’m going with this Let’s reread it said he had twelve yoke of oxen before him he was with the twelve this is my belief and understanding of this there was more than one set of oxen out there plowing field that day there were twelve I perceive that there was a leaven before him is said he was with the twelve I believe Elijah was a very successful prosperous farmer he had servants to help take care of his farm I may be off on this but I believe that’s way I understand Ned he was with the twelfth Jacobo joke of oxen and the others were before him they were all plow in the field and he was back there with the twelve set plow in his field so I believe that he too was a very wealthy successful farmer. I think that is significant the rich man in Jesus’ day he went away sad but this wealthy farmer namely Lasher. He ran to the lodge and said Let me go tell my mother and father by let me give them and tell them bye he responded to the call he understood the extent of the call let me say good bye he took the oxen slaughter down sacrifice them he use the the equipment to burn them that too is greatly significant because he say and I’m done with it I cannot go back to it I’ve burned it I’ve I’ve burned the past I’m willing to follow today I will not be going back to farming I’m going to be following the law should I lie to I’m going to be following God’s call in my life there was no turning back he was blessed for his willingness to follow God he lies to serve the nation of Israel as prophet for approximately sixty years and there was very little to criticize about his service to the Lord he was involved in two of the three Old Testament resurrections and was a forerunner of Christ in many of the things that he did he perform more miracles than anyone except for Jesus Christ. He was used magnificently miraculously by God if you will. No turning back this time period in which he lives just said yes was a very dark time for the nation of Israel God had rejected Israel because of their disobedience the enemies were circling the nation and surely he would have known about all the stuff that I have been just as a bell were doing in the nation that many were worshipping bail because of jazz a bell he knew all of that but yes he was willing to trust God to say yes in be the prophet for the nation of Israel even with all that bad news it did not deter him. He left all. He was willing to give all the tangible things that he had. His willingness to sacrifice the oxen and burn the yokes. Was an outward sign of that inward decision that he had made. No going back. There’s been many modern day missionaries or evangelists or pastors willing to make that same sacrifice I’ve spoken before of Jim Elliot He was a missionary to the. To chacha were Indians in South America he was willing to give up earthly things for heavenly rewards Jim wisely noted he is no full who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot moves Jim was killed by South American natives as he sought to spread the gospel to those who had never heard about Jesus but later his wife and other missionaries were able to go to the same tribe that had murdered Jim and share the gospel message and as a result many came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose my friends we could spend a lifetime. Gaining all of the trinkets and whatnots that we have our cars our homes our jewelry our tools our toys our trinkets all these things we can gain a life spent a whole lifetime gaining all these things. But when the end comes what happens all these things well the family will have a yard sale maybe four or five yard sales to get rid of all that stuff that we spend a lifetime Gainey. The cars will be sold or the children keep them the house will be sold for someone else is going to live in it that’s for sure. You don’t take them with you. But we spend a lifetime trying to gain them to gain those things that we cannot keep. Would it be better to gain those things that we cannot lose those eternal rewards the rewards that God has stored up for us in heaven that’s where we should have our mindset that’s where we should big focused. Ozzie Smith said I want Di plan of God for my life may I be happy and content weather and the homeland or on the foreign field whether married or alone in happiness or sorrow in health or sickness prosperity or adversity I want diet plan O. God for my life I want it oh I want it he was a missionary statement who served as a pastor in Toronto Canada is that or cry to God God I want your plan help me to hear your call. These men were willing to say yes to God’s call in their lives willing to allow God to work through them to bless others through them Isaiah forty six nine to eleven says Remember the things I have done in the past for I alone am God I am God and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens will listen to that God says only I can tell you the future before it happens everything I plan will come to pass for I do whatever I wish I will call a swift bird of prey from the east a leader from the distant land to come and do my bidding I have said what I would do and I will do it says the Lord amen amen. Only the Lord can tell us the future before it even happens you know what I think in about that thumb times it just kind of makes me chuckle because I think if we only knew the future. We would probably follow it up we’d probably make the biggest mistakes if we knew the future for number one if we knew if I didn’t if we knew that well Ronnie is going to die in twenty thirty five in December well he might live life like a heathen until the November of two thousand and thirty five then I’m going to get right to the Lord I don’t have frontal then right but God knows the heart he knows that would’ve been a sincere white in the life. You know when we were younger there was some years back there was a television series on called EARLY EDITION. And the guy would get a newspaper every morning but it was tomorrow’s paper. So he would read a C.V. it’s all fictional Now don’t get you know too upset with me but the whole premise be set behind his series was he would get to Mars paper and there would be some accident or some harmed it was going that came over a person so he would have twenty four hours to go out and try to fix this to try to say that person is not harm or that dreadful thing is going to come upon them and most of Tommy was successful I mean I was a show. But what would many do what would many do if they had to Mars paper today will they be down nearby and water tickets is where they’d be right come on now. They’d be a lot bond that lottery ticket living a life of pleasure in ease right so we would mess it up if we knew the future would be down near grass trying to get those things that we can’t take with us that’s what we do with it come on be truthful we mess it up if we knew the future that’s why God only gives what we need today what we need to know today God has plans. And he will do whatever he wishes with it his plans will be accomplished one way or another brothers and sisters whether we say yes or not God’s plans will be accomplished do you want somebody else to be doing what God had intended for you. Or you go when God calls what will you say when you say yes but when you say no I pray that we all will say yes. In Isaiah fourteen twenty four The Lord of Heaven’s armies has sworn this earth it will all happen as I have planned it will be as I have decided Amen He is the Lord it will be as he has decided we may not understand everything that he has planned. It may be that he will not even reveal the whole plan to us when he does call us he might only give us bits and pieces because if he revealed the whole thing to us it might be too much force they might only give us a little bit as a fifty five eight nine says for ma thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my way says the Lord for us the heavens are higher than the Earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts then your thoughts we must just trust that he will be with us through whatever he calls us forty one ten says fear not. For I am with you being not dismayed for I am your God I will strengthen you yes I will help you I will uphold you with my right his hand do you believe God’s word is true do you believe that to be a promise God says fear not for I am with you be not dismayed my friends be not fair full for God is with you he will uphold you with his right to say and if he calls you he will be with you. We have to have faith we must have faith to believe that God can accomplish the task the things that he’s called us to do great faith it takes great faith to be willing to risk all and follow Him Yet when we really understand God We understand that it is not a risk. To give up the things of the world and follow Him Actually it’s more foolish to say no to God. If he lays out the plan you can believe that it will happen. Read in a book by Tony Evans called Kingdom prayer I know it’s a book on prayer but there’s a part in air about faith I want to share from it but before I get to that part Tony Evans shares. In this book that some years ago. There was much racial distress in the nation but especially in the area around Columbia South Carolina and a group of pastors got together and they really felt that God was calling them to have his crusade. A crusade to try to bring some unity to bring some healing to that region that they were living they were in and they thought that this might actually extend even into the rest of the nation and they just really felt God calling them to have this great crusade and try to bring blacks whites and all together in here from the Lord they just really felt that the Lord had a word for that community so they don’t all the planning got it all together and they rented a outdoor an open stadium a huge stadium so the night the very first night there was twenty five thousand people there they said that there was an equal number of blacks and whites so there were all just very thrilled that so many people come out to hear the word of the Lord. But one thing constant in a way well that evening that very first evening the weather. It was an outdoor stadium the weather didn’t look very promising so they had people course want to Peter’s watching everybody gathered and waiting just a little bit before were supposed to start and the weather man showed disuse massive storm coming directly to the stadium coming right out. And he said Well Tony said he felt led to say man we better get together and pray so they gathered in a room underneath the bleachers understands and they’re the. Great pastors there and some other people to help with the organization of this event so kind of one man began Tony says began this nice faithful prayer what he calls safe prayer. A safe prayer he says Lord he says I know that you know you’ve called us to how this event to try to bring healing in this community and more we know that you were able bother if you are willing to hold off the rain. And so on and so on with the next pastor Lord if that style will that these people hear this message tonight we know that you could divert this rain so all these people all these pastors praying this prayer Tony said about Tommy got to him he said I didn’t pray anything much stronger than the rest of them and finally he said there was a pretty tough little woman there named Linda. And I want to share with you her prayer. First of all this Linda sort of said can opt to says John the can operate and he said well what else could we say Sure go ahead so Linda began her prayer and here’s her prayer Lord your name is at stake we told these people. That if they would come out tonight that she would hear a word from God We told them that they would hear from you now if they come and you let it rain and you don’t control the weather weather then you will look bad. Because we told them that you wanted to say something important to them so if we told them that you wanted to say something to them and you don’t keep back what you can control the weather someone would say that your name is no good. And then she threw in a line that cause everyone to look at each other. Out of the corner of their eyes as she prayed Linda said therefore right now I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop the rain for the sake of your name with that the preachers open their eyes their eyebrows all one up all we could say and think was did she really just pray that. Did she really just pray that she did and now the rest of the story they go out on to the stage the pastors get prepared for their message. And they’re sent Linda down there and they looked up they could see the rain coming. A huge boat a lightning people started getting the rumble is out I’m actually the guy sitting beside Linda opened up their hand her number as she pushed it away. They could see the rain coming towards the stadium it got to the stadium they said he said it was a wall of water it was raining that hard he said it split when around the stadium come back together on. The other side of the stadium. He said it was not because of our prayers it was that petite little woman name and because she prayed that prayer faith they thought did she really pray that commanded God control that rain. It was his plan do we have faith in his plan. If God reveals his plan we know it’s going to happen. He was testing their faith but only that little bitty woman had the faith to call God out on his plan and God answered that prayer. Is faith do we have the faith in the planet God calls us to do we have that kind of faith that God calls you do you surrender it all to him Do you trust him with every aspect of your life do you trust him that he will do what he says he will do. We willing to risk all. Have a story to share Portia de beautiful and wealthy carers of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice had many noble suitors but her father in her father’s will he decreed that her husband would be the man who chose the chest out of three the right chest out of three and there was so there was three chest one chest was made of gold and carried the inscription who chooses chooses me so again what many men desire but inside the chest was a skull the second chest was made as silver and it carried this inscription who choose the Me shall get as much as he desires and inside of that chest was a picture of a full. The winning chest the third chest was made of lead but inside of it was Porsche’s picture on the outside was the inscription who choose with me must give it an risk all that he have. Only Bussy no pick the chest of lead and won the hand of Portia because he was willing to risk all that he had for her. My friends that’s the attitude that people face should have in God. Willing to risk all for what’s inside willing to risk all for what God has for us Matthew sixteen twenty six says for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul or what would a man give in exchange for his soul. In this Jesus speaks of the value of the soul. Of friends it would do us no good to gain the whole world. So if God calls us. God calls you to whatever ministry How will you answer. Well you go away sad like the rich young man. Or you as he lies or. As many others to follow him will you say yes to God We say yes to his call on your life I pray that you will have the faith. That you have the trust to say yes to him whenever he calls you for what he calls you to do it may be to go out in evangelize it may be to go on a missionary trip it may be to help feed the hungry it may be to preach it may be to teach. But do you trusting that God will see you through it that he will give you the strength to do what he calls you to do I pray that you will pray that he will give you the strength he was a courage give you the faith maybe we can all pray Lord increase my faith help my unbelief help my unbelief lord may I trust in you completely Amen.