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Jeremiah In The Cistern

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CALL TO WORSHIP  PSALM 103

8 THE LORD IS COMPASSIONATE AND GRACIOUS,

SLOW TO ANGER, ABOUNDING IN LOVE.

9 HE WILL NOT ALWAYS ACCUSE,

NOR WILL HE HARBOR HIS ANGER FOREVER;

10 HE DOES NOT TREAT US AS OUR SINS DESERVE

OR REPAY US ACCORDING TO OUR INIQUITIES.

11 FOR AS HIGH AS THE HEAVENS ARE ABOVE THE EARTH, SO GREAT IS HIS LOVE FOR THOSE WHO FEAR HIM;

12 AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST,

SO FAR HAS HE REMOVED OUR TRANSGRESSIONS FROM US.

13 AS A FATHER HAS COMPASSION ON HIS CHILDREN,

SO THE LORD HAS COMPASSION ON THOSE WHO FEAR HIM;

 


 

JEREMIAH'S STAND

JEREMIAH 38:1-13 (NIV)

PASTOR DOUG FORSBERG,

AN ASSOCIATE AT BETHANY FIRST CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE

RECENTLY SPOKE OF AN EXPERIENCE HE HAD

WHILE PASTORING A SMALL CHURCH IN FLORIDA.

IT INVOLVED A MEMBER OF HIS CHURCH,

AN OLDER GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME OF BENNY.

NOW BENNY WAS ABOUT NINETY-NINE TO ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD AND HE LIVED IN THE LOCAL NURSING HOME.

ONE DAY WHILE IN THE MIDST OF HIS USUAL DUTIES

PASTOR DOUG GOT A CALL FROM BENNY,

OUT AT THE NURSING HOME.

BENNY CALLED UP AND SAID, "HURRY, HURRY. PASTOR DOUG I’VE GOT TO SEE YOU RIGHT NOW. IT’S IMPORTANT. PLEASE HURRY."

PASTOR DOUG, KNOWING BENNY’S AGE FEARED THE WORST,

SO HE DROPPED EVERYTHING AND RAN OUT TO THE NURSING HOME TO SEE WHAT EMERGENCY BENNY WAS FACING.

WHEN HE ARRIVED PASTOR DOUG ASKED BENNY,

"WELL BENNY, WHAT’S THE EMERGENCY? WHAT’S SO IMPORTANT?"

BENNY LOOKED UP AT THE PASTOR AND SAID,

"PASTOR DOUG, I’M GOINNA GET MARRIED,

AND I’VE CALLED YOU OUT

BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO PERFORM THE CEREMONY."

PASTOR DOUG WAS KINDA TAKEN BACK AND HE SAID,

"UH, OK, BUT FIRST TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THIS WOMAN?"

BENNY REPLIED, "OK."

DOUG ASKED, "IS SHE A CHRISTIAN?" HE SAID, "NO!"

PASTOR DOUG SAID, "ALL RIGHT, IS SHE BEAUTIFUL?" "NO!"

PASTOR DOUG IS LIKE, "WELL, OK."

HE SAID, "NOW I’M JUST ASKING TO ASK, NOT IMPLYING TOO MUCH, BUT BENNY, IS SHE RICH?" BENNY SAID, "NOPE!"

PASTOR DOUG WAS REALLY TAKEN BACK, SO HE FINALLY ASKED, "BENNY, WHY ON EARTH DO YOU WANT TO MARRY THIS WOMAN?"

BENNY LOOKED HIM RIGHT IN THE EYE AND GRINNED,

"BECAUSE SHE CAN DRIVE AT NIGHT!"

(PAUSE) IT’S NICE TO SUPPLEMENT OUR WEAKNESSES WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S STRENGTHS.

 

 

SLIDE

JEREMIAH 38:1-13 (NIV)
JEREMIAH THROWN INTO A CISTERN

38     SHEPHATIAH SON OF MATTAN, GEDALIAH SON OF PASHHUR, JEHUCALA SON OF SHELEMIAH, AND PASHHUR SON OF MALKIJAH HEARD WHAT JEREMIAH WAS TELLING ALL THE PEOPLE WHEN HE SAID, 2 “THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: ‘WHOEVER STAYS IN THIS CITY WILL DIE BY THE SWORD, FAMINE OR PLAGUE, BUT WHOEVER GOES OVER TO THE BABYLONIANSB WILL LIVE. HE WILL ESCAPE WITH HIS LIFE; HE WILL LIVE.’ 3 AND THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: ‘THIS CITY WILL CERTAINLY BE HANDED OVER TO THE ARMY OF THE KING OF BABYLON, WHO WILL CAPTURE IT.’ ”

4 THEN THE OFFICIALS SAID TO THE KING, “THIS MAN SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH. HE IS DISCOURAGING THE SOLDIERS WHO ARE LEFT IN THIS CITY, AS WELL AS ALL THE PEOPLE, BY THE THINGS HE IS SAYING TO THEM. THIS MAN IS NOT SEEKING THE GOOD OF THESE PEOPLE BUT THEIR RUIN.”

5 “HE IS IN YOUR HANDS,” KING ZEDEKIAH ANSWERED. “THE KING CAN DO NOTHING TO OPPOSE YOU.”

6 SO THEY TOOK JEREMIAH AND PUT HIM INTO THE CISTERN OF MALKIJAH, THE KING’S SON, WHICH WAS IN THE COURTYARD OF THE GUARD. THEY LOWERED JEREMIAH BY ROPES INTO THE CISTERN; IT HAD NO WATER IN IT, ONLY MUD, AND JEREMIAH SANK DOWN INTO THE MUD.

7 BUT EBED-MELECH, A CUSHITE,C AN OFFICIALD IN THE ROYAL PALACE, HEARD THAT THEY HAD PUT JEREMIAH INTO THE CISTERN. WHILE THE KING WAS SITTING IN THE BENJAMIN GATE, 8 EBED-MELECH WENT OUT OF THE PALACE AND SAID TO HIM, 9 “MY LORD THE KING, THESE MEN HAVE ACTED WICKEDLY IN ALL THEY HAVE DONE TO JEREMIAH THE PROPHET. THEY HAVE THROWN HIM INTO A CISTERN, WHERE HE WILL STARVE TO DEATH WHEN THERE IS NO LONGER ANY BREAD IN THE CITY.”

10 THEN THE KING COMMANDED EBED-MELECH THE CUSHITE, “TAKE THIRTY MEN FROM HERE WITH YOU AND LIFT JEREMIAH THE PROPHET OUT OF THE CISTERN BEFORE HE DIES.”

11 SO EBED-MELECH TOOK THE MEN WITH HIM AND WENT TO A ROOM UNDER THE TREASURY IN THE PALACE. HE TOOK SOME OLD RAGS AND WORN-OUT CLOTHES FROM THERE AND LET THEM DOWN WITH ROPES TO JEREMIAH IN THE CISTERN. 12 EBED-MELECH THE CUSHITE SAID TO JEREMIAH, “PUT THESE OLD RAGS AND WORN-OUT CLOTHES UNDER YOUR ARMS TO PAD THE ROPES.” JEREMIAH DID SO, 13 AND THEY PULLED HIM UP WITH THE ROPES AND LIFTED HIM OUT OF THE CISTERN. AND JEREMIAH REMAINED IN THE COURTYARD OF THE GUARD.

Situation of Jerusalem
Message of Jeremiah
Opposition to Jeremiah
Weakness of the king
Imprisonment

SLIDE

I. JEREMIAH STOOD ON THE STREET CORNER.

AND PREACHED THE WORD OF GOD.

THE PROPHETS BEFORE JEREMIAH PREACHED,

RETURN TO GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.

BUT NOW, THE TIME HAD COME.

JUDAH HAD GONE BEYOND THE POINT OF NO RETURN.

AND GOD HAS MADE UP HIS MIND,

AND HE WAS GOING TO GIVE JUDAH

INTO THE HANDS OF THE BABYLONIANS.

ALL JEREMIAH HAD LEFT FOR HIS FELLOW COUNTRYMEN WAS FOR THEM TO RUN FOR THEIR LIVES.

SOMETIMES THE TRUTH IS HARD TO HEAR.

SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HURTS.

BUT IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE.

IF YOU REALLY LOVE THEM

IN THE WAY THAT SAYS I WANT THE BEST FOR YOU.

THEN YOU WILL TELL THEM THE TRUTH

SO THAT THEY WILL HAVE A CHANCE

TO SAVE THEMSELVES FROM THE COMING DISASTER.

AND SO THIS IS WHAT JEREMIAH IS DOING.

HE'S TELLING HIS FELLOW COUNTRYMEN TO

GIVE THEMSELVES UP TO THE BABYLONIANS.

HE'S SAYING, YOU DON'T STAND A CHANCE

AGAINST THEM,

BECAUSE GOD HAS SENTENCED YOU TO CAPTIVITY

IN THAT FAR AWAY COUNTRY OF BABYLON.

IF YOU DON'T SURRENDER TO THEM

THEN THE WHOLE CITY WILL BE BURNED

TO THE GROUND.

SLIDE

II. JEREMIAH STOOD IN THE CISTERN.

THERE WERE SOME HIGH RANKING PEOPLE,

WHO HEARD WHAT JEREMIAH WAS SAYING.

THEY DECIDED THAT THEY HAD TO SILENCE JEREMIAH BECAUSE HE WAS DISCOURAGING THE PEOPLE.

I CAN KIND OF UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY WERE COMING FROM, BECAUSE JEREMIAH WAS SAYING, WE NEED TO SURRENDER TO OUR ENEMIES.

THIS MESSAGE MUST HAVE BEEN AS HARD FOR JEREMIAH TO TELL, AS IT WAS FOR THE PEOPLE TO HEAR.

BUT JEREMIAH WAS FAITHFUL TO SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD, EVEN IF IT MEANT HE WOULD DIE DOING IT.

AND IT ALMOST DID COST HIM HIS LIFE.

SLIDE

THEY TOOK JEREMIAH AND PUT HIM IN A CISTERN.

WE CAN SUFFER FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE.

BECAUSE THE TRUTH CAN BE HARD TO TAKE.

THE TRUTH CAN HURT.

AND PEOPLE MIGHT TAKE OFFENCE AT WHAT WE'VE SAID.

SLIDE

III. JEREMIAH STOOD IN THE COURTYARD.

JEREMIAH WOULD HAVE DIED THERE IN THE CISTERN IF THERE HADN'T BEEN A MAN THAT STOOD UP FOR HIM BEFORE THE KING.

THIS MAN'S NAME WAS EBED-MELECH.

HE WAS PROBABLY A EUNUCH FROM THE UPPER NILE AREA IN AFRICA.

HE SAID THOSE MEN HAVE ACTED WICKEDLY.

THEY'VE THROWN JEREMIAH IN A CISTERN AND HE WILL STARVE TO DEATH THERE IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING.

SO THE KING GAVE EBED-MELECH THIRTY MEN TO GO AND GET JEREMIAH OUT OF THAT PLACE OF DEATH.

GOD IS ABLE TO SAVE HIS MAN

FROM THE EVIL THAT THE WORLD WOULD DO TO HIM.

JEREMIAH  LIVED THROUGH THE LAST DAYS OF THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL.

JERUSALEM WAS UNDER SIEGE.

AND THE CHALDEANS HAD DEFEATED EVERYONE

WHO OPPOSED THEM; INCLUDING THE EGYPTIANS.

NOW THEY WERE AT THE VERY GATES OF JERUSALEM.

FOR US TODAY, IT WOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

SOME POWERFUL NATION DECIDES TO COME AGAINST AMERICA.

THIS NATION ESTABLISHES MASSIVE NAVAL BLOCKADES

ON BOTH OUR ATLANTIC COAST AND OUR PACIFIC COAST.

LARGE ARMIES OF SOLDIERS ARE STATIONED
ON OUR NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN BORDERS.

HAWAII HAS FALLEN, AND SO HAS ALASKA.

AS A NATION WE ARE PINNED DOWN,

 WAITING TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

THAT'S THE NATURE OF A SIEGE.

YOU SIT AND WAIT FOR AN OPPORTUNE  MOMENT.

JERUSALEM IS UNDER SIEGE.

THIS SIEGE WHICH LASTED FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS.

TRADE ROUTES HAVE BEEN CUT OFF.

FOOD SUPPLIES HAVE DWINDLED.

IRRITABILITY IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH.

AND MORALE IS AT AN ALL TIME LOW.

JEREMIAH IS PREACHING TREASON.  HE'S SAYING...

"THUS SAYS THE LORD, "HE WHO STAYS IN THIS CITY WILL DIE BY THE SWORD, BY FAMINE, AND BY PESTILENCE;

BUT HE WHO GOES OUT TO THE CHALDEANS WILL LIVE; HE WILL HAVE HIS LIFE AS A PRIZE OF WAR, AND LIVE. THUS SAYS THE LORD, THIS CITY SHALL SURELY BE GIVEN INTO THE HAND OF THE ARMY OF THE KING OF BABYLON AND BE TAKEN."

ONE OF THE KEYS TO A BATTLE,         ANY BATTLE,

IS THE CONFIDENCE OF THEIR SOLDIERS.

WHEN CONFIDENCE IS HIGH, THE SOLDIERS FIGHT WELL.

BUT WHEN CONFIDENCE FALLS, MORALE FALLS, AND SOLDIERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO DESERT OR JUST GIVE UP.

GOD TOLD GIDEON, WITH AN ARMY OF OVER 30,000, "WHOEVER IS FEARFUL AND TREMBLING, LET HIM RETURN HOME." [JUDGES 7:3] GET RID OF THEM.

FEAR IS A SOLDIERS WORST ENEMY, AND AN ENEMIES BEST FRIEND.

JEREMIAH IS PREACHING TREASON,

AND HIS MESSAGE HAS ANGERED

THE NOBLES OF THE LAND,

BECAUSE IF JERUSALEM FALLS,

THEY HAVE THE MOST TO LOSE.

SO THEY GO TO THE KING, AND SAY...

"LET THIS MAN BE PUT TO DEATH, FOR HE IS WEAKENING THE HANDS OF THE SOLDIERS WHO ARE LEFT IN THIS CITY, SPEAKING SUCH WORDS TO THEM. FOR THIS MAN IS NOT SEEKING THE WELFARE OF THIS PEOPLE, BUT THEIR HARM."

THESE NOBLES, HAVE TRIED TO TAKE JEREMIAH’S LIFE BEFORE.

YOU CAN READ ABOUT IT IN JEREMIAH CHAPTER 26.

PROBABLY THESE NOBLES HAVE  NAGGED, AND NAGGED, AND NAGGED, AND NAGGED, AND NAGGED, AND NAGGED, AND NAGGED THE KING

UNTIL FINALLY KING ZEDEKIAH HAS HAD ENOUGH;

HE CAN’T STAND ANY MORE,

AND IN A BOUT OF FRUSTRATION HE SAYS,

"FINE, GO AHEAD. YOU’RE GOING TO DO WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO, AND I CAN’T STOP YOU.

"KING ZEDEKIAH SAID, "BEHOLD, HE IS IN YOUR HANDS; FOR THE KING CAN DO NOTHING AGAINST YOU."

IT WAS LIKE PILATE FACING THE MOB.

THE CROWDS ARE SHOUTING,

"CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM!"

AND PILATE CAN NO LONGER CONTROL THE CROWD,

SO HE WASHES HIS HANDS OF THE WHOLE SITUATION

AND SAYS,

"TAKE HIM, I'M INNOCENT OF THIS MAN’S BLOOD.",

KING ZEDEKIAH IS WASHING HIS HANDS OF JEREMIAH’S DEATH.


SO JEREMIAH, WHO IS ALREADY UNDER HOUSE ARREST, NOW GETS THROWN INTO THE CISTERN

TO SINK INTO THE MUD, TO ROT, TO HUNGER, AND TO DIE.

(PAUSE) TALK ABOUT A BAD DAY (REFLECTIVE PAUSE)

THERE ARE THREE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED HERE.

SLIDE
LESSON #1: WE ALL FACE TRIALS IN LIFE.

WHETHER WE'RE A PERSON OF GREAT IMPORTANCE,

LIKE KING ZEDEKIAH,

OR A COMMON FOLK PERSON, LIKE JEREMIAH,

THE FACT IS WE ALL FACE TRIALS IN LIFE.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FACES TRIALS.

SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN, FACE TRIALS.

SPORTS LEGENDS, MOVIE STARS, CEO’S, BANK EXECUTIVES, DOCTORS, AND LAWYERS ALL FACE TRIALS IN LIFE.

BARBERS, FARMERS, HOUSE WIVES, HOTEL MANAGERS, COOKS, WELDERS, MECHANICS, AND CLERICAL WORKERS ALL FACE TRIALS IN LIFE.

NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, OR WHAT YOU DO;

NO MATTER HOW GREAT OR HOW SMALL YOU ARE,

EVERYONE FACES TRIALS IN LIFE.

JOB SAID IT LIKE THIS,

"AFFLICTION DOES NOT COME FROM THE DUST, NOR DOES TROUBLE SPROUT FROM THE GROUND; BUT MAN IS BORN TO TROUBLE AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD." [JOB 5: 6-7]

ZEDEKIAH WAS THE KING OF ISRAEL,

AND YET HE FACED THE TRIAL

OF AN INVADING ARMY LAYING SIEGE TO HIS CAPITAL.

JEREMIAH WAS JUST A SIMPLE PROPHET,

AND YET HE FACED THE TRIAL

OF AN ANGRY OPPOSITION AND AN UNJUST IMPRISONMENT.

WE ALL FACE TRIALS IN LIFE.

SLIDE
LESSON #2: NOT ONLY DO WE FACE TRIALS IN LIFE,

BUT IN THE MIDST OF OUR TRIALS WE'RE GOING

TO HAVE DAYS WHEN LIFE GETS THE BEST OF US.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE DAYS WHEN WE FEEL

TOTALLY BROKEN,      DESOLATE,      AND CRUSHED.

DAYS WHERE THE SKY

SEEMS TO HAVE FALLEN DOWN ON US

AND THE EARTH HAS BEEN PULLED OUT

FROM UNDER OUR FEET.

JEREMIAH MUST HAVE FELT LIKE THINGS COULDN'T GET ANY WORST.              AND THEN THEY DID.

"KING ZEDEKIAH SAID,

5 “HE IS IN YOUR HANDS,” KING ZEDEKIAH ANSWERED. “THE KING CAN DO NOTHING TO OPPOSE YOU.”

6 SO THEY TOOK JEREMIAH AND PUT HIM INTO THE CISTERN OF MALKIJAH, THE KING’S SON, WHICH WAS IN THE COURTYARD OF THE GUARD. THEY LOWERED JEREMIAH BY ROPES INTO THE CISTERN; IT HAD NO WATER IN IT, ONLY MUD, AND JEREMIAH SANK DOWN INTO THE MUD.

IT’S BAD ENOUGH JEREMIAH WAS UNDER HOUSE ARREST, NOW HE HAS BEEN PUT IN A DARK, COLD, MUDDY PIT.

HE FEELS FORSAKEN,

HE'S LONELY, FRIGHTENED, AND HUNGRY,

AND UP TO HIS WAIST IN MUD.

WE ALL FACE TRIALS,

BUT IT’S IN THE MIDST OF OUR TRIALS

THAT THE WORST WILL COME.


A FARMER WORKING THROUGH A MAJOR DROUGHT IS IN THE MIDST OF A TRIAL.

BUT, A FARMER WORKING THROUGH A MAJOR DROUGHT, FACING FORECLOSURE ON HIS FARM

AND CHAPTER ELEVEN BANKRUPTCY

IS AT THE END OF HIS ROPE.


A FAMILY WITH AN UNEMPLOYED BREADWINNER

IS GOING THROUGH A TRIAL.

BUT, A FAMILY WITH AN UNEMPLOYED BREADWINNER, WITH THEIR VEHICLES REPOSSESSED,

A LIEN ON THEIR HOME,

AND THE BANK LAYING SEIZURE TO THEIR PROPERTY

IS AT THE END OF THEIR ROPE.


BEING CHEATED OUT OF A PROMOTION AT WORK

IS A TRIAL.

BUT, BEING UNDER APPRECIATED

AND PASSED OVER FOR A WHOLE CAREER

CAN PUT US AT THE END OF OUR ROPE.


IT'S ALMOST INEVITABLE,

IT'S WHEN WE'RE GOING THROUGH TRIALS IN LIFE,

THAT WE WILL FACE THE WORST

THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER.

7 BUT EBED-MELECH, A CUSHITE,C AN OFFICIALD IN THE ROYAL PALACE, HEARD THAT THEY HAD PUT JEREMIAH INTO THE CISTERN. WHILE THE KING WAS SITTING IN THE BENJAMIN GATE, 8 EBED-MELECH WENT OUT OF THE PALACE AND SAID TO HIM, 9 “MY LORD THE KING, THESE MEN HAVE ACTED WICKEDLY IN ALL THEY HAVE DONE TO JEREMIAH THE PROPHET. THEY HAVE THROWN HIM INTO A CISTERN, WHERE HE WILL STARVE TO DEATH WHEN THERE IS NO LONGER ANY BREAD IN THE CITY.”

10 THEN THE KING COMMANDED EBED-MELECH THE CUSHITE, “TAKE THIRTY MEN FROM HERE WITH YOU AND LIFT JEREMIAH THE PROPHET OUT OF THE CISTERN BEFORE HE DIES.”

11 SO EBED-MELECH TOOK THE MEN WITH HIM AND WENT TO A ROOM UNDER THE TREASURY IN THE PALACE. HE TOOK SOME OLD RAGS AND WORN-OUT CLOTHES FROM THERE AND LET THEM DOWN WITH ROPES TO JEREMIAH IN THE CISTERN. 12 EBED-MELECH THE CUSHITE SAID TO JEREMIAH, “PUT THESE OLD RAGS AND WORN-OUT CLOTHES UNDER YOUR ARMS TO PAD THE ROPES.” JEREMIAH DID SO, 13 AND THEY PULLED HIM UP WITH THE ROPES AND LIFTED HIM OUT OF THE CISTERN. AND JEREMIAH REMAINED IN THE COURTYARD OF THE GUARD.

 


 

SLIDE
LESSON #3: THERE IS SOMEONE WAITING TO PULL US OUT OF OUR PIT.

EBED-MELECH WAS A EUNUCH FROM ETHIOPIA.

"EBED-MELECH PROBABLY WAS KEEPER OF THE ROYAL HAREM, AND SO HE HAD PRIVATE ACCESS TO THE KING."

(COMMENTATOR A. R. FAUSSETT)

EVEN THOUGH
EBED-MELECH HAD SPECIAL ACCESS TO THE KING,

HE WAS NOBODY SPECIAL.

HE WAS MERELY A MAN WHO, WHEN HE SAW AN INJUSTICE

IN THE LIFE OF A FELLOW MAN,

COULDN'T JUST SIT IDLY BY

AND WATCH THIS OTHER PERSON SUFFER AND DIE;

HE WAS COMPELLED TO HELP HIS FELLOW MAN’S PAIN.

A TRAVELER FELL INTO A DEEP PIT AND COULDN’T GET OUT.

SEVERAL PERSONS CAME ALONG

AND SAW HIM STRUGGLING IN THE PIT.


THE SENSITIVE PERSON SAID, "I FEEL FOR YOU DOWN THERE IN THE PIT."


THE REFLECTIVE PERSON SAID,

"IT’S LOGICAL THAT SOMEONE WOULD FALL INTO THAT PIT."


THE AESTHETIC PERSON SAID,

"I CAN GIVE YOU IDEAS ON HOW TO DECORATE YOUR PIT."


THE JUDGMENTAL PERSON SAID,

"ONLY BAD PEOPLE FALL INTO THE PIT."

THE ANALYTICAL PERSON SAID,

"HELP ME MEASURE THE DEPTH OF YOUR PIT."


THE CURIOUS PERSON SAID,

"TELL ME HOW DID YOU FELL INTO THE PIT."


THE PERFECTIONIST SAID,

"I BELIEVE YOU DESERVE YOUR PIT."


THE EVALUATOR SAID,

"TELL ME, ARE YOU PAYING TAXES ON THIS PIT."


THE SELF-PITYING PERSON SAID,

"YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN MY PIT."


THE SPECIALIST IN MEDITATION SAID,

"JUST RELAX AND DON’T THINK ABOUT THE PIT."


THE OPTIMIST SAID,

"CHEER UP! THINGS COULD BE WORSE."


THE PESSIMIST SAID,

"GET READY! THINGS WILL GET WORSE."


JESUS, SEEING THE MAN,       TOOK HIM BY THE HAND

AND LIFTED HIM OUT OF THAT MISERABLE PIT.

IN JOHN 16: 33 JESUS SAYS,

" IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE.

BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD."

MAYBE YOUR GOING THROUGH A TRIAL

AND MAYBE YOUR TRIAL IS A DIFFICULT ONE.

BUT, BE OF GOOD CHEER.

WE ALL FACE TRIALS;

AND IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR TRIALS

WE MAY FACE SOME OF THE WORST DAYS OF OUR LIVES,

BUT THERE'S SOMEONE WAITING TO PULL YOU UP.

MAYBE YOU'RE NOT GOING THROUGH A TRIAL TODAY.

MAYBE YOU'RE NOT FACING THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE TODAY.

BUT MAYBE YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS

GOING THROUGH A TRIAL.

IT COULD BE A NEIGHBOR?         OR A RELATIVE?

OR MAYBE A FRIEND?

IT COULD EVEN BE SOMEONE YOU'VE JUST MET.

AND THEY NEED SOMEONE TO PULL THEM UP

OUT OF THEIR PIT.

YOU MIGHT SAY TO YOURSELF, " I’M NOBODY SPECIAL!"

EBED-MELECH WAS NOBODY SPECIAL.

HE WAS SIMPLY OBEDIENT AND OPEN,

AND HE LET GOD TO WORK THROUGH HIM.

CAN WE DO ANY LESS FOR THOSE AROUND US?

CAN WE DO ANY LESS FOR THOSE WHO WORK NEXT TO US?

WE ARE JESUS' HANDS AND FEET. 

LET'S USE THEM TO BUILD HIS KINGDOM.

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