"I Feel Like Turning Around" (II Cor.4:1-18)

“I FEEL LIKE TURNING AROUND”

II Corinthians 4:1-18

Introduction:

A.  Have you ever worked so hard that you almost fainted?

 

            ILL:  Two-a-days at Dierks.

            ILL:  Backpacking with the boys in Georgia.

 

B.  During these times you need a little extra something to keep

      going on.

 

C.  Have you ever worked so hard for the Lord that you almost

      fainted?

 

            1.  Paul had.

            2.  It is in the book of II Corinthians that we get a peek at

                 how hard it was for Paul to preach the gospel.

                 (see II Cor.1:5,8; 11:23-28)

            3.  But Paul didn’t quit.  (see II Cor.4:8-9).

            4.  Numerous times he said, “We faint not.”  (4:1,16)

 

D.  There are times in all of our lives we feel pushed to the limit.

 

            1.  The Circumstances of Life Push us to the Limit.

 

·        Physical circumstances.

·        Financial circumstances.

·        Family circumstances.

 

2.  The Christian Life can seem to Push us to the Limit.

 

·        Many times it is a Joy to be a Christian.

·        Many times it is Hard to be a Christian.

o       When family turns against you.

o       When friends turn against you.

o       When society is against you.

o       When Satan is against you.

 

·        During the Hard times some want to quit.

ILL:  Like Israelites who wanted to go back to

   Egypt.

                              ILL:  They are the seed on stony ground that

   wither when the sun comes up because

   they had no root.

                              ILL:  Maybe a reason for the Young People who

                                       drop out of church when they leave home.

                                       It is easy to go to church when with

   parents, but it is harder to stand on your

   own.

                              ILL:  Maybe a reason for so many MIA’s.

                                       They come when things are entertaining

   and easy.  But leave when things it calls

   for a sacrifice.

 

·        During the Hard Times some people Persevere

and never give up.

How can we become a person like that?

Note what kept the Apostle Paul going?

 

I.  Remember the People you have Around You.  (1-6)

 

A.  People are Depending on Us.

 

            1.  If we don’t set the right example, others will be led

     astray.  (1-2)

            2.  If we don’t say the right words, others will be led to

     hell.  (3-4)

3.  Yes, others are depending on you—you can’t give up.

 

·        Your children are depending on you.  Don’t give up.

·        Your neighbor is depending on you.  Don’t give up.

·        Your family is depending on you. Don’t give up.

·        Your classmates are depending on you.  Don’t give up.

 

ILL:  Rifleman episode where Mark has to get water in the desert for his father, Lucas McCain, who has broken a leg.

We must not give up because others will die from not having the living water.

 

B.  God is Depending on You.  (5-6)

 

            1.  Paul preached for Jesus’ sake and because of God’s call.

            2.  We must keep on going in the Christian life because

     God is depending on us to be the light of the world.

 

ILL:  Have you ever been thrown into darkness without a

         working flashlight?  It is frustrating.

       There are many in the world in darkness, needing light.

       Some are truly becoming frustrated, because the places

       they thought there would be light, in churches,

       among Christians, they are no longer working.

            EX:  I asked Bro. Lynn Riley how many young preachers were graduating from seminary.  Not many.  Some want to Youth work, new work, humanitarian work.  Not many want to come to a church or community like ours and preach the gospel.  Within the next 20 years you will see the traditional church dying.

   We can’t die.  Others are depending on you. 

                        God is depending on you.

 

II.  Remember the Power you have Within You.  (7-16

 

A.  God Wants to Display His Power through You.  (7)

 

            1.  This is why he gave the ministry to men, not angels.

            2.  This is why he gave the ministry to weak, not strong.

            3.  He uses us so that He might receive the glory.

            ILL:  Paul was a display of God’s Power.

                        Not a big, brawny preacher.

                        But a sick, invalid preacher.  (II Cor.12:7-9)

B.  God Will Display His Power through You.  (8-11)

 

            1.  God will work in your life just as surely as Paul’s.

 

·        Power to overcome temptations.

·        Power to overcome depression.

·        Power to withstand Satan’s arrows.

·        Power to withstand the world vindictiveness.

·        Power to come through that crisis.

·        Power to come through that storm.

·        Power to keep going in the bad days.

·        Power to keep going until the last day.

 

          “I can do all things through Christ who strengthenenth me.”

(Phil.4:13)

 

2.  God will get the glory for working through your life.

     (15)

 

            ILL:  The Prayer Jar—we praise God for answered

          prayer.

ILL:  Paul would never want us to lift up Paul.

            He would want us to lift up Jesus.

 

            “To God be the glory

            Great thing He has done

            And great our rejoicing

Through Jesus the Son.”

 

            You can’t—but God can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III.  Remember the Promise you have Before You.  (17-18)

           

A.  When we Focus on our Hardships, they become…

 

·        Heavy.

·        Huge.

·        Painful.

·        Permanent.

 

B.  When we Focus on Heaven, our Problems become…

 

            1.  Minute.  “light affliction”

            2.  Momentary. 

            3.  Meritorious.

 

            When you are hurting and on the verge of quitting,

            keep your eyes on the prize!

 

            ILL:  Why did Paul keep going in the face of troubles?

                        Why did he ever go on a second mission trip?

                            Why did he ever go back to places that hurt him?

                                    Why did he keep preaching in prison?

 

            He tells us one reason why in II Timothy 4.

 

            “For I am now ready to be offered, and time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day”  (II Tim.4:6-8)

 

            But note what he also says there:

            “and not to me only, but unto all them also that love

            His appearing.” 

 

            God also has a crown for us if we just don’t quit!

 

 

Conclusion:

 

A.  Do you feel like turning around?

B.  I’ve got a better idea.

            Don’t turn around.

            Turn to God.  And don’t Quit.

 

 

 
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