Friday, November 30, 2012

Nothing in the city !!


 This message was preached by Terry Virgo at TOAM 2012 Bangalore.This is a summary of his message.

Revival is a fascinating topic. It never goes to plan. There are highs and lows and suddenly God breaks through. The Old Testament is like that – deep troughs and then God raises Samuel. The Bible is a story of how God breaks through. We then have David. The Bible is about God’s breakthroughs.
Our individual lives are about God breaking through – if we don’t know God like that you‘ll be in trouble.

 TEXT: 2 Kings 7:1-9 
The Israelite s were besieged . There is no way out and Israel thought that they were finished. They appeal to Elijah and he prophecies victory. But some don’t believe it.
How do you break out of a city under siege?

Four people with leprosy were out of the city. They were ceremoniously unclean so people would pass them food over the city wall. (probably lowered in a basket )But now there is a famine and there is no food in the city, therefore no food has come to them as well. They thought that they would die and so thought of throwing themselves at the mercy of the enemy. They were going to die anyway. There was nothing else to live for. What amazing power there is in a person who has nothing else to live for. They have no other agenda.

When God calls we have so many agendas. These guys were amazingly free because they were ‘dead’ anyway. This is when the story turns around.
This is the mark of the early church as well - they had nothing else to live for. Paul had no regard for his life- he gloried in the cross by which the world was crucified to him and he was crucified to the world. 2 Cor. 5 if one died for all therefore all died.

The whole story turns on these four guys who had no alternative. Do you have other alternatives? These guys were free. So many stories turn in history because they had an encounter with Jesus. They realized that there is nothing in the city – there is a famine. The world has nothing to offer – there is no hope- It’s bankrupt.
Hebrews says Jesus suffered outside the gate so let’s go outside the camp bearing his reproach.

God wants to start a story in your life. You can know religion but to know God who can turn things on it head is another story.

Moses is leading two million people and suddenly they come to the Red Sea and God parts it and they are safe and the Egyptians are thwarted and forever they sing and celebrate the Passover.
God acts on behalf of his people eg) Joshua and Jericho, David and Goliath and in a moment a nation of losers and becomes a nation of winners! God intervened! 2Chro20 The Bible is full of such stories where God fights the battle and the people don’t have to do much.

Jesus on the cross was being mocked and taunted and it looks like a total failure. And then on the resurrection morning Mary comes expecting to see the guards but he is not here. HE is alive! He turned it around!

So the lepers go into the camp and find gold, silver, wine, food etc. You think you’ll meet an enemy but you meet amazing provision.

What are the spoils? Jesus said “I will share the spoils with the strong. Spoils are what you win in a battle. Everything that belonged to the enemy now becomes yours. The Bible refers to many spoils Is 9:3c “When diving the spoils” its happy time- like when you share a harvest. How do we relate to this in the 21st century?

2 Chro. 20 –It took 3 days to gather the spoils. It came with the victory – it’s all free.
Do we realize what we have got because of Jesus’ victory? Jesus has covered us with his righteousness and it’s all free. You may think that the point of this message is “it’s time to go and tell”. That is ok but some don’t realize how much they have got. They don’t realize they have the righteous of Jesus and how BIG that is! He perfected us for all time, once and for all. We feel we are still wicked. But Jeremiah says that we have been given a new heart!

Have you seen everything Jesus has done for you? We can throw off the old things and have everything in Christ for free.
The story turned on four guys who had no other agenda. Do you have another agenda? We have something to tell the world for it is empty and in a state of famine. There is nothing there for us.