Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas
James 5:17 NIV Elijah was a man just like us … KJV Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are … Living Bible Elijah was as completely human as we are … Worrell Elijah was a man of like nature with us … Twentieth Century New Testament Elijah was only a man like ourselves … New English Bible A man with human frailties like our own … Williams a man with feelings just like ours … New Testament of Modern Speech A man with a nature similar to ours … Basic English Bible a man of flesh and blood as we are … John Knox A mortal man like ourselves … The Message A human just like us …
Intro: Last week, I preached that Elijah was a man of prayer. I talked about Prayer is communion with God; Prayer is a time when God talks to us; Prayer is sweet fellowship with God; and that Prayer strengths the child of God. If you were not here, you will be blessed to get a copy of those notes!
Today, I want to look at Elijah – A Man Of Purpose. Next time I will look at Elijah as a man of passion, then a man of faith, and lastly, a man of victory!
More than just a human like us, Elijah was an effective instrument of righteousness in God’s hands. What God did through Elijah, He wants to do through us! Let us examine Elijah as a man of purpose!
I. Natural Man Wants A Life That’s Easier!
In I Kings 18, Elijah presents himself to King Ahab. Now King Ahab had been looking for Elijah without success. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, wanted Elijah’s life! Immediately, when King Ahab sees Elijah, he asks the question, “Are you the one who is troubling Israel?” “Are you the one who is causing the drought?”
Earthly man always asks, “What can I do to make my life easier?” What compromises can I make that will make life more pleasant for me? What entertainments will I enjoy, even if they cause me to lower my standards? How much wrong can I tolerate? Remember Lot! He pitched his tents toward Sodom and Gomorra; but lost all his possessions, his wife, and committed incest with his two daughters during a drunken stupor! Is that where you are heading? Remember, God is much more interested in your character than He is your comfort! When you will seek first God, He will provide everything you need!
II. Spiritual Man Wants A Life That Will Advance God’s Kingdom!
Spiritual man asks, “What can I do to advance the kingdom of God? What can I do to make a difference for eternity? What can I do to keep one more soul from burning in the Lake of Fire? What can I do to help my part of the world have a true Revival, where we will all be turned back to God?
When King Ahab wanted to know if Elijah was the problem, Elijah answered, “No, King, I have not done anything to cause Israel’s problems! My goal has only been to help Israel return to God!”
You know the rest of the story! 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Astarte prayed for fire all one day, and then Elijah prayed a short prayer and fire fell from Heaven and not only consumed the sacrifice, but licked up the water that had saturated the altar and the ground around it!
III. Elijah’s Purpose Was To Wholly Serve The Lord!
We must have the same purpose as Elijah! We must love the Lord with our entire mind, with all our strength, and with all our soul! We must seek for avenues to serve the Lord! Elijah told the people in I Kings 18:21 if God be God, follow Him! Another Old Testament character, Joshua told the people to Choose today whom you will serve, then serve Him!
There are many areas of service where you can make an eternal difference! We should have more people wanting to teach Sunday School than we have rooms or students! We should have more wanting to help than we have tasks! What are you doing to Serve The Lord? Some might say, “I serve the Lord as a Christian!” James would reply, I will show you my faith by my works! Get busy working for the Lord – that is the reason you were saved!
Conc: Elijah was a man who was not looking for the easy life! He wanted to advance God’s Kingdom and serve the Lord with all his might! That is what made him a man who was an effective instrument of righteousness in God’s hands! We also can be people who are effective instruments of righteousness in God’s hands when we find our purpose for being a Child of God – Why Jesus Saved Us! – (Note: He did not save us just to take us to Heaven or He would have killed us that very moment of conversion!)
For what purpose are you living? What is the task that the Lord has saved you to perform for Him? Step up to the plate and get busy so you can hear, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things! Enter into the joys of your Lord!
~ Pastor Erny