Keep Moving

Gen 26:12-13
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:

If we look closely at thid scripture we will notice that Isaac became great because of God’s blessing…

But it doesn’t stop there…

It then says… “and WENT FORWARD, and grew until he became VERY great!”

Isaac apparently was NOT satisfied with his initial blessing that already made him great…

HE WENT FORWARD….
AND GREW…
UNTIL HE BECAME VERY GREAT!

Notice that Isaac began to GROW when he went Forward!

Isaac went from blessing to greatness…
Then he “WENT FORWARD…”

He went BEYOND GREATNESS
TO BECOMING “VERY GREAT!” 

The message here is quite simple:
If an individual desires to become great they must “Move Forward.”

The apostle Paul understood this principle when he said…
Phil 3:13 TLB
13 No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

Paul knew that the only way to progress in his walk with the Lord was by moving forward!
Exodus 14:15
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”

In this passage, God had already given Israel deliverance from the Egyptians.

And now they are headed toward the promise land after leaving Egypt. 

Suddenly, they come to the Red Sea. 
The enemy is behind. 
They can’t go left or right. 
They can’t go back.

THERE WAS ONLY ONE DIRECTION FOR THEM TO GO…FORWARD!

Moses began to cry to the Lord. 

And God said… “What are you crying to me for? Tell Israel to go forward.” 

But there was no apparent way to go forward. 
No boats or bridges. 
They couldn’t possibly swim across 
But God said “Go Forward.” 
And when they did, God did something He had never done before, and Israel escaped on dry land. 

The unexpected happened when they began to MOVE FORWARD!

There is only one way to move in the Kingdom: MOVE FORWARD!

When we MOVE FORWARD the Lord will open the door!.

In Joshua 3, Israel came to another obstacle. The children of Israel found themselves at the brink of the water on the Jordan river…

What did God tell them to do? Go forward! 

God again split the waters. 

The Lord continuously allowed obstacle after obstacle to come before Israel and yet demanded they Move Forward. 

There are some things we will never accomplish naturally.
It will always takes God to bring about the victory.
But God demands obedience from us. Obedience to “Move Forward!”
WE MUST:
Expect obstacles.
Expect resistance.
BUT…We can’t turn back.
So God’s Word for us is simple… “Move Forward.”

The victory may come in one day, one phone call, one letter, one month…
Maybe even in one year…

But if we give up, we won’t get it. 

We’ve got to continue to “Move Forward!”

Sometimes God delays His answers to test us.

The time between when the promise is given and when the promise is fulfilled seems like a wilderness experience.

And there is only ONE way to survive the wilderness.
Move Forward! 

Keep walking in the last word God gave you until you receive another word.

In II Kings 7, four lepers defeat an army after they decided to Move Forward!

II Ki 7:3-8 (NKJ)
3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?
4 “If we say, ’We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”
5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.
6 For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses– the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!”
7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact– their tents, their horses, and their donkeys– and they fled for their lives.
8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.

These guys did not really stand a chance of survival!

They were diseased and hungry…

BUT THEY HAD A DESIRE TO LIVE!

THEY HAD A DESIRE TO BE MORE THAN THEY WERE!

So what did they do? 
THEY COULD NOT CHANGE THE FACT OF THEIR SICKNESS…
BUT THEY COULD CHANGE THEIR SURROUNDINGS! 

They decided to “Move Forward!”

Your success depends upon your desire to Move Forward! 

We must Move Forward!
As a church we must…MOVE FORWARD!
As individuals we must… MOVE FORWARD!

It’s time to move from…
RELIGION to RELATIONSHIP!

It’s time to move from…
OBLIGATION to DEDICATION!

And it’s time to move from…
MEMBERSHIP to MINISTRY!

In the course of their conversation at a dinner party, Albert Einstein’s young neighbor asked the white-haired scientist, “What are you actually by profession?” 
“I devote myself to the study of physics,” Einstein replied.
The girl looked at him in astonishment. “You mean to say you study physics at your age?” she exclaimed. 
“I finished mine a year ago.”

Folks, WE ARE NOT THROUGH!

There can NEVER be a time or place in our lives that we stop MOVING FORWARD!

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Surviving the loss of a loved one

Hebrews 9:27 (the Message) says, “Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences.” 

A correct view of death. We need to look at the Scriptures and see why death occurs and what happens after death. So many people are in the dark about what happens at death.

When I say a “correct” view of death I am talking about a biblical view of death. What does the scriptures say to us about why people die? There are a lot of different views about death and what happens when we die. What does the Scriptures teach us about death?

We were made to live forever in perfect fellowship with our Creator. God made Adam and put him in this seemingly perfect environment. But Adam had some boundaries. Boundaries are a good thing. Boundaries keep us in check and help us maintain our relationship with God. A boundary God put in the Garden was this—“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the free of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

Death became a consequence of disobedience. “The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23
“For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1Corinthians 15:21-22 Death is a blessed release from an imperfect world for the Christian 1Corinthians 15:12-26.

For those of us who hope in Christ we look forward to death in the sense that we know what is on the other side of death. It is not a mystery to us. God has made it clear. Jesus has prepared a place for us. Our hope is secure in him because Christ died for our sins. He has defeated death! I’m telling you—one minute in heaven—you’ll not want to come back. You won’t want to settle for anything else.

For those who do not hope in Christ the thought of death is a gloomy reality. The thought of nothing beyond what we see here can be scary. Some would say that Christianity is just a crutch…it is something that is nice to believe in. But how can we be so certain that what is on the other side of this life is perfect peace? Christ’s resurrection is a guarantee! It is not just a religious belief. It is a historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead. And according to the Scriptures if Christ had not rose from the dead then our preaching about it is useless!

Christians have great hope when they die. But that doesn’t mean death is not painful. It does not mean we aren’t to miss the person who has passed and have a hard time with it. For many, we are wrongfully taught that grief and mourning is a sign of weakness. The Bible says otherwise. That’s why another thing you need as you live through the passing of a loved one is 

A grasp of the grief process. “What is grief? Grief is an important, normal response to the loss of any significant object or person. It is an experience of deprivation and anxiety which can show itself physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially and spiritually.” (Psychologist Gary R. Collins)

Any loss can bring about grief. Let’s face it, life is full of losses. While it is common to think of loss and grief only in connection with death, life itself is full of losses that must be acknowledged and grieved. At many of life’s changes and transitions, people experience loss and need to use the grieving process to deal with the experience.

“Christ has demonstrated the importance of grieving. In his Sermon on the Mount he said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 Even Jesus grieved. Jesus knew that Lazarus was about to be raised from the dead, but the Lord still grieved (John 11). He also withdrew and grieved when he learned that John the Baptist had been executed (Matthew 14:12-21). Grief, as well as death, is a natural and inescapable part of the human experience.” (Josh McDowell’s Handbook on Counseling Youth, p. 96-97). The widely acclaimed work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has chronicled the five stages of grief:

• Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance

The amount of time it takes a person to grieve varies. It could be months it could take longer than that. The goal of the grieving process is to get you to the point where you accept the loss and move on. Move on in the sense that you never forget the person but that you don’t allow it to paralyze you. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in a constant state of depression. You are hopeless and chronically depressed you need to get some professional help. It is going to take more than a sermon to facilitate the healing you need. Don’t put it off. God doesn’t want you to live the rest of your life that way.

I think another thing you need to “survive” the death of a loved one is the right circle of people around you. Did you know the Bible teaches us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 

A part of the responsibility we have as believers is that we mourn with one another. This is another reason why we are to surround ourselves with godly people. This is another reason why we need to be a part of the church. A great example of this is found in Job 2:11-13. Jobs friends who are eventually criticized for their later conversations with Job leave their homes and come and sit with Job.

“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”

When we experience loss we don’t need someone to come up to us and say, “Hold your chin up” or “Be brave.” That’s the last thing we want to hear. Sometimes we need to just show up and say, “look I don’t know what you are going through and I don’t know what to say, but I am here and I love you and we’ll walk with you through this. 

If you were to lose someone very close to you, do you have a network of people, godly people who will grieve with you, support you, affirm you, listen to you, and help direct you? If not, let me encourage you to find a group of people to become that for you. The greatest place I know for you to find that is in a Lifegroup.