Ref: DCLM Workers’ Retreat 2021
Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Generally, people who run in a race prepare for a long time, so that they can win a particular prize. History tells us that their training used to be very, very rigorous. They prepare to run the race under various restrictions of diet. In order to lose extra weight they exercise all the time. An athlete who aspire to win a covetous prize is selective in his food and moderates his diet. To keep himself healthy, he cannot eat starchy or fatty foods or take alcoholic drink not because of his salvation or holy living or for religious purposes, but to shed his weight to be swift when the day of the contest comes.
Paul then says, we as believers and more so Ministers of the gospel, we are runners and we need to watch our weight. Because of the people who have gathered around us to watch us. We must succeed. We must win the race.
We will examine the message in three points:-
- The Heavy weight of Little foxes and unconfessed Guilt
- Heaps and weights of unconquered Greed
- Halting waves of uncontrolled Grief.
- THE HEAVY WEIGHT OF LITTLE FOXES AND UNCONFESSED GUILT
Psalms 38:4-6; Psalms 51:3; Proverbs 6:23; Lam 1:14; Acts 2:37; Acts 24:25; Song of Solomon 2:15
When man has sinned and he has not confessed, it brings guilt. When a believer or a worker or leader in the church has sinned and hid it and it is opened, the weight comes upon him. Example, immorality that leads to pregnancy (Psalms 38:4-6).
How can somebody running a race with a heavy weight or burden of sin, sorrow, guilt be able to concentrate and win in the race? Proverbs 27:3-4. This is another form of sin. Somebody whose temper is always boiling – a pressure cooker. The flame and the heat are on. The problem is great. It may be an adultery committed like David did. With such a heavy weight how can you run to win (Psalms 51:3; Proverbs 6:32) without confession and forsaking. No matter how zealous a Christian Worker may pretend to be, as long as there are heavy weights and little foxes of sin hidden, your neck will be burdened, your hands will be tied, you will lose strength and be weakened spiritually and you will fall no matter the noise you make on the pulpit. (Lam 1:14).
2.HEAPS AND WEIGHTS OF UNCONQUERED GREED
Psalms 39:6; Job 27:16, 17; Eccl. 2:26; Matthew 6:19; 1 Timothy 6:9-12, 17-19; Eccl. 5:10-11
Riches are heaps. Today in our world the only language people understand and speak is the language of “MONEY”. If you do not speak that language, then you are not part of our world. This has led people to kill their fellow men for money as people kill fowls for food during the celebration of the birth of Christ. Indeed there is a rat-race for money. Some believers have joined this race and have left the Christian race which Paul and his colleagues ran and at the end of life was able to say: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand I have fought a good fight, 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: and not to be only, but unto all them also that love His appearing”. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
I wonder how many Christian workers of today on the day of death can say as Paul said. Many started well like Paul, but the devil through his subtlety has made them to lose their focus in the race. Instead of running after Righteousness, Godliness, faith, Love, Patience, Meekness and after “NEVER DYING SOULS” for whose sake Christ died to bring them into the Kingdom, many are running after Money and other material things which do not count for Eternity. I pray this “National Workers Retreat” should restore us back to the real Christian race. Once again I say “Riches are Heaps”.
A greedy person always amasses wealth and he cannot rest. If you want to run this race:
- The Race that Evangelists ran
- The race that soulwinners ran
- The race that lovers of souls ran
- The race that people who want to say like Paul in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 ran.
- The race that scriptural pastors ran, you will do away with Greed out of your life.
It’s a tragedy for a pastor to be owing some members of the church and still be preaching to them forcefully. (Ecclesiasts 5:10-11)
3.HALTING WAVES OF UNCONTROLLED GRIEVE
Psalm 38;17-18; Job 6:2-3; Proverbs 12:25; Isaiah 53:4-5,10; 1 Peters 5:7
It’s not the problem that weighs you down but:
- The thought about the problems (Isaiah 55:8)
- The sorrow
- The comments of people about your problem.
Examples: the death of a genuine believer weighs some people down. Somebody has died and gone to heaven, yet you are sorrowing uncontrollably. It’s your thoughts that brings sorrow. It’s your idea that brings grief. Self-imposed grief. Somebody with God in heaven, close to Jesus, happy and you are sorrowing. Why? You are thinking about who will pay my rent, my children’s school fees. Is that person dead your God? Oh I pity you. Your God has died. You can come to my God now. He is alive (Joshua 1:1). Moses my servant is dead but I am alive.
It’s not the physical weight but the heaviness in the heart, weight in the heart that weighs you down. (Proverbs 12:25). You have heard the good Word of God, so throw away your sorrow, your grief and embrace gladness.
What has happened to you that has not happened to someone before? What have you lost and it has not happened to someone before? When calamities happens in quick succession get up and do something, Get going. Praise the Lord. Give glory to God as Job did. The Lord is in control (Job 1: 20- 22)
Many believers know of Jesus suffering on the cross for our sins and sickness but do not know He has borne our “GRIEFS” and carried our “SORROWS” also. they can be healed of physical pain but not of emotional pain, sorrows and griefs. We need to take this also to God for healing (Isaiah 55:4,5,10; 1 Peter 5:7).
Begin to search for the weights of unconfessed Guilt and little foxes. Crucify the unconquered greed and hand over the Grief and sorrow for Jesus to carry them for you. They are too heavy for you. Give all of them to Jesus.