Don’t Settle For Less.
Hebrews 11:32 through Hebrews 11:40 (NIV)
32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Introduction: Though the Jewish system pointed to Jesus, and the Old Testament people were called to relationship to the eternal God, they preferred to stay at a distance. Moses, and David, as well as many of the prophets experienced a close relationship with God, but only because they experienced a relationship that looked forward to the long expected Jesus. No one comes to the Father (or ever did) apart from the merits of Jesus. It is with us and through Jesus that the fulfillment of God's plan comes.
I. Don't Settle For Less: Yield to God's Correction.
Hebrews 12:4 through Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Psalm 119:67 (NIV)
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
Psalm 119:71 (NIV)
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
Psalm 119:75 (NIV)
75 I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
A. Submit to the Love of God As His Children.
- His discipline shows that He loves us, not that he hates us.
*** "This is going to hurt you more than me," the father told his
child whom he was about to spank for being disobedient.
"Don't do it, Dad," the child exclaimed. "I don't want you to
"That's OK. I'm willing to suffer so that you might learn."
- Rusty & Linda Wright, _500 Clean Jokes_, p. 14.
- Oh Jerusalem, How many times I would have gathered you as a Hen does her chicks, but you would not.
B. Submit to the Purposes of God as His Children.
- Trusting in his Judgment as to what is good for us.
- Eternal purposes, not limited in vision or understanding. (The pleasant and perfect will of God)
- This is for your own good! - Here we can truly trust in the wisdom of God as a Father.
*** A soldier received a box of home-baked cookies from his girlfriend. Several were thick and lumpy. He ate the thin ones and left the others for his buddies in the barracks. To his chargrin, he learned that his sweetheart had placed intimate love notes in some of the cookies - the thick, lumpy ones that he had rejected and left for his fellow-soldiers.
Are we sometimes like that soldier? Are we sometimes guilty of rejecting God's expressions of love and carelessly tossing them aside?
C. Submit to the Shaping of God as His Children.
- Molded in His image
*** God never alters the robe of righteousness to fit man; He changes
the man to fit the robe.
II. Don't Settle For Less: Yield to God's Cleansing.
Hebrews 9:11 through Hebrews 9:14 (NIV)
11When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
A. Through a Greater High Priest
An eternal High Priest who did not have to offer a sacrifice for His own sin. An eternal high priest who as Eternal Lord would not be replaced by another because of death.
B. Through a Greater Sacrifice
The Sacrificial offering of the blood of bulls and goats were not satisfactory to allow us into heaven. The only saving power they had was in their ability to point ahead to Christ who alone has the purity and merit to enable entrance into heaven.
C. Through a Greater Penetration
- Not an outward clean, but an inner cleansing.
III. Don’t Settle For Less: Yield To God's Call.
Hebrews 10:28 through Hebrews 10:31 (NIV)
28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
A. Severity Because of Precious Blood of the Son Ill-treated.
*** I was talking to my son, Josh, about sin. Josh asked me, "Daddy, can we wash off our sins with soap?" I told him, "No, only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sins."
What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make us whole again? Nothing but the the blood of Jesus.
Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know; Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
B. Severity Because the Spirit of Grace Insulted.
- We have to be willing to accept the grace offered.
*** A big, wealthy city church had three missions. On the first Sunday of the New Year, all the members of the mission churches came to the city church for Communion. In those mission churches were some outstanding cases of conversion--thieves, burglars, and so forth, but all knelt side by side at the Communion rail. On one such occasion, the pastor saw an erstwhile burglar kneel beside a judge of the Supreme Court of England--the judge who had sent him to jail, where he had served seven years. After his release he was converted and became a Christian worker. Neither seemed to see the other.
After the service, the judge, walking home with the pastor, said, "Bid you notice who was kneeling beside me at the Lord's Table this morning?" "Yes," replied the pastor, "but I did not know that you noticed it." Presently the judge exclaimed, "What a miracle of grace!" "Yes, a marvelous miracle of grace," replied the pastor. "But to whom do you refer?" queried the judge. "To So-and-so," said the pastor, mentioning the name of the burglar, "I was not referring to him," said the judge; "I was thinking of myself."
"You were thinking of yourself?" "Yes, it did not cost that burglar much to get converted when he came out of jail, He had nothing but a history of crime behind him, and when he saw Jesus as his Saviour, he knew there was salvation and hope and joy for him, but look at me! I was taught from earliest infancy to live as a gentleman; that my word was to be my bond; that I was to say my prayers, go to church, take Communion, and so on. I went through Oxford, took my degrees, was called to the bar, and eventually became a judge. Man, nothing but the grace of God could have caused me to admit that I was a sinner on a level with that burglar! It was harder for me to get converted than for that burglar! " --F. C. H. Dreyer
C. Severity Because The Warning of the Father Ignored.
*** Is it not foolish to be living in this world without a thought of what you will do at last? A man goes into an inn, and as soon as he sits down, he begins to order his wine, his dinner, his bed; there is no delicacy in season which he forgets to bespeak. He stops at the inn for some time. By and by, the bill is forthcoming, and it takes him by surprise. "I never thought of that! I never thought of that!" "Why," says the landlord, "here is a man who is either a born fool, or else a knave. What! Never thought of the reckoning, never thought of settling with me !"
After this fashion, too many lie. They eat and drink and sin, but they forget the inevitable hereafter, when, for all deeds done in the body, the Lord will bring us into judgment. --C. H. Spurgeon
We can not settle for second best with God. You have to go all the way with Him, because He went all the way for you. 1.) Do not settle for a submission that has exceptions and a consecration that has holes in it. 2.) Do not settle for salvation that relies on what Jesus does for you, and not what he can do in you. 3.) Do not refuse what God has to give you. He will have all of you, or none of you. Do not insult his provision and call to you, or you are subject to