Sunday Morning 8/28/11

Posted by Sherry

STANDING IN THE GAP

Ezekiel 22:23-31

CBC 8/28/2011 SM

  • Ministry has many faces
    • taking water to thirsty firemen
    • riding in a patrol car giving spiritual direction
    • giving CPR to an unconscious Deacon
    • holding & praying for a family that has just lost a loved one
    • helping someone make “ends meet”
    • that’s “STANDING IN THE GAP”
  • Ministry is usually not seen by everybody
    • no personal praise
    • no pay check at the end of the week
    • some times taken for granted & not appreciated
  • Ministry has to begin in our heart
    • only God can see in there
    • a boiling passion that spill over on the needy & sometime undeserving
    • a vibrant, active and never ceasing prayer life that bombards heaven’s gates with intercession for the hurting
    • a courage to charge the fires of destruction in the lives of people with nothing more than good intentions & God on your side.
    • a strength to fill sandbags of wisdom to build a levee against the rising tide of immorality

23And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

24Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed nor rained upon in the day of indignation.

25There is a conspiracy of [Israel's false] prophets in the midst of her, like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken [in their greed] treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her.

26Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the sacred and the secular, neither have they taught people the difference between the unclean and the clean and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

27Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves rending and devouring the prey, shedding blood and destroying lives to get dishonest gain.

28And her prophets have daubed them over with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies to them, saying, Thus says the Lord God--when the Lord has not spoken.

29The people of the land have used oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; yes, they have wronged and vexed the poor and needy; yes, they have oppressed the stranger and temporary resident wrongfully.

30And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

31Therefore have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I repaid [by bringing it] upon their own heads, says the Lord God.

  • Ezekiel understood that
    • God wanted someone to “Stand In The Gap”, to intercede for His wayward people
    • Ministry of intercession is still vital today
    • God is calling Men, Women, Boys & Girls to Christ-like Ministry

OUR COUNTRY DESPERATELY NEEDS US TO STAND IN THE GAP

  • corruption in Judah, like in America, reached from top to bottom in society
    • political leaders were lost in corruption
    • peoples hearts had turned to stone
    • “feel good” spirituality” w/ out any moral demands
    • leaders willing to do whatever to maintain their personal power
    • people who have lost sight of what it means to care for each other as neighbors
    • getting ahead at the expense of others is the norm
    • sacrificing the family for selfish pleasure
    • only one cure for that...JESUS CHRIST
    • how can they hear without someone to tell them? That someone is YOU!

GOD IS SEEKING PEOPLE WHO WILL STAND IN THE GAP

  • Apathy & Complacency rules the land (Nobody cares)
    • God always brings discipline to the children He loves
    • He has consistently sought for people who would stand firm for Him
    • Abraham w/ a warning for Sodom & Gomorrah
    • Moses stood between and angry God & a disobedient Israel...and God spared them
    • Paul declared he would give up his own salvation if Israel would come to faith in Christ
    • Can God find people like that in the membership of Central Baptist, Prescott?
    • Someone who will stand in the gap in town?
    • Someone who will stand in the gap at the School House?
    • Someone who will stand in the gap during a drought? (3,524,304 reasons it might not be raining...amount gambled away on lottery tickets in Nevada Co. last 12 months, instead of depending on God for our resources!)

JUDGMENT FALLS ON THOSE WHO REFUSE TO STAND IN THE GAP

  • God leaves no doubt...if no one cares about God & seeking Him first...judgment comes with a vengeance
    • unconcern for God
    • apathetic attitude towards church
    • lack of interest in praying for the lost in the altar
    • soul winning & spirituality on the back burner behind recreation, rehearsals & redneck activities
    • and the old song says, “WHO SENDS THE RAIN?” DUH!!!
    • Many are mistaken about Judgment
    • it’s not reserved until the end of time
    • it’s not just for the lost and those rejecting a relationship w/ Jesus

1 Peter 4:17For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God?

  • God looks for a people who will care
    • committed to intercession
    • stand in the gap
    • seek His face first & let Him fill in the schedule
    • spend 3.5 million dollars on necessary improvements in our county & city
    • if God can’t find those people, CONSEQUENCES FOLLOW

CONCL:

  • When God looks down on us what does He find?
    • people who care enough to get involved?
    • to intercede for the fallen
    • a spiritual army ready to do battle?
    • or a bunch of folks too busy to take a stand in the gap
    • stuck in like at the connivence store trying to strike it rich & gambling our communities future away
    • for the record...if you average the numbers the scholarships only amounted to $4,000/student...not much money when you walk in the gates at Fayetteville!
    • It’s time somebody stand up and declare, “SOMEONE CARES!”
    • “SOMEONE WILL PRAY FOR YOU”
    • SOMEONE WILL PLEAD YOUR CASE”
    • “SOMEONE WILL LOVE”
    • “SOMEONE WILL GIVE”
    • “SOMEONE WILL FIGHT”
    • “SOMEONE WILL WORK”
    • “AND THAT SOMEONE IS ME!”

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