Sermon:  The enemies of perseverance

Summary:  We need to support our faith with perseverance.  One way of doing
this is to recognize and defeat the enemies of perseverance which includes fear
of things other than God, weariness in our spirit, and distractions which cause us
to take our focus off of God.

Know:  Perseverance is not just a matter of trying harder when we are fearful or
tired, but of taking time to nourish our relationship with God

Feel:  A need to spend some quiet time with God in order to find the strength and
focus to serve him in all of life

Do:  Identify the distractions in your life that attempt to weaken your relationship
with God and your service to him, and pray about it, asking God to show you the
best way to deal with the distractions in your life so you can serve him better.

Text:  2 Peter 1:3-11 (v.6)

Scripture Reading:  Prov 4:25-27

1.Perseverance - Greek:  Hupomone - To remain under, to stand fast
	a.  Word used frequently in military contexts
	b.  Stand your ground, even in the fact of danger and attack
	c.  Eph 6:11 - Put on full armor of God so will stand firm against schemes 
	     of the Devil
		- Standing firm - That is hupomone
		- What will it take?  Need to know job AND enemy
2.  ILL:  Air Force
	a.  Re-program onboard ECM computers new intelligence.  Why?  New 
	b.  Refitted for desert warfare.  Then, Desert Sheild
	c.  Not excercise, but real thing
3.  Similary, we need “intelligence” on our fight against Satan
	a.  We need to stand firm against the “schemes” of the Devil
	b.  Matt 10:22 - Hated on account of my name, but he who perseveres to 
	     the end will be saved
	c.  Satan will use his schemes against our perseverance
	d.  A little intelligence to identify the enemies of perseverance
4.  Use Israel in the wilderness as an example...
	a.  They redeemed when pass through waters into wilderness
	b.  We redeemed when baptized and now in wilderness
	c.  In wilderness, Satan throws us enemies of perseverance...

I.  Fear
	A.  Feared many things in wilderness
		1.  Starvation, thirst, enemies
		2.  At border of Canaan, feared so much, rebelled
		3.  Forgot God’s provisions and deliverance from Amelekites
		4.  All fear boiled down to 2 things
			- Loss of sustenance
			- Loss of security
			- All our fears are usually one or the other in some way
	B.  Being faithful to God has a price
		1.  If eye cause to sin, pluck it out
			a.  God expects faithfulness
			b.  Will often put us at odds with the world - weird
		2.  (Rev 1:17-18) - Do not fear
			a.  Worse can happend is torture and death
			b.  Did that to Jesus, and where is he now?
			c.  Whe says, “Do not fear” he knows
	C.  But don’t we often still let fear paralyze us?
		1.  5 yr old Johnny, mother told to get can tomatos from pantry
		2.  Johnny scared, dark in there.  Mother said Jesus in there.
		3.  Johnny stopped at door - Jesus, if in there, hand me tomatos?
		4.  Never went in, never got can of tomatos
	D.  God is everywhere, nothing to fear
		1.  Prov. 29:25 - Fear of man brings snare, trust Lord will be exalted
			a. Fear of man a snare - Bible never say fear man or Satan
			b. Matt 10:28 - Not fear man, but fear God
		2.  So don’t hide your faith
			a.  Be good, honest, righteous and kind, even if goody
			b.  Let light shine
			c.  If those who love darkness not like it, shine anyway
		3.  Don’t let fear become a snare

II.  Weariness
	A.  Israel became weary in a hurry
		1.  Tired of “whatsit” - Manna - cookbook best seller 1001 ways to 
		      cook manna - Manna soufle, Manna creole, manna tar tar, 
		2.  God not displeased in Exodus when complain and weary
			a.  He simply took care of their needs
		3.  In Exodus, God get’s angry.  Why now and not then?
		4.  Complaining no longer from fear, but a certain kind of weariness
	B.  It’s the kind of weariness that causes relatioships to crumble
		1.  Like husband who stays away from home as much as possible
		2.  Work late, bowling, golf, with guys, etc.
		3.  Come in one day, “I don’t love you” or “affair” or “I want out”
		4.  We want to avoid weariness that says “I want out”
			a.  Israel didn’t, and never made it
			b.  What can you do?
				- “Try harder” not help much
				- “Don’t give up” is a little better
			c.  What do you do when exhausted and tired?
				- Sit, lie down, sleep, snore!
				- Wake up energized
	C.  Sabbath principle - Built into life from the beginning
		1.  God commanded Sabbath for every man, slave, animal
		2.  Sabbath even for the land so land can rest and rejuvinate
		3.  Sabbath a holy day, rest, rememberance
			a.  They didn’t do just nothing
			b.  Remember creation and deliverance
			c.  We NOT Israelites, but need for sabbath remains
		4.  (Isa 40:29-31) - Rejuvination for those who hope in the Lord
	D.  When we take time to “hope” or refocus on the Lord
		1.  Gain new strength, rejuvinate
		2.  Three R’s - Rest, Remember, Reflect
		3.  Sometimes we need personal Sabbath
			a.  Go into woods, fishing, mountains
			b.  Take some time off for the Lord
		4.  If we do this, he will recharge our Spirits

III.  Distraction
	A.  Etymology - To be pulled apart.  Like Israel during Judges
		1.  (Dt 8:11-14) Warning from Moses
		2.  (Josh 23:6-8) Warning from Joshua
			- They didn’t drive them out completely
	B.  Basically had 2 kinds of distractions
		1.  Wealth
		2.  Friends (unbelieving ones - We need Life Groups)
		3.  We have the same kinds of distractions today
		4.  Our stuff, or non Christian friends can pull us away from God
	C.  (Heb 12:1-2)
		1.  Don’t get tangled up with world
		2.  Don’t swerve left or right
		3.  Keep Jesus at center of focus
		4.  All else is peripheral - school,car, friends, job, clothes, etc
	D.  Doesn’t mean....
		1.  Vow of poverty or no Christian friends
		2.  In material things, you honor God
		3.  In freindships, you honor God
			a.  Among the lost, let light shine
			b.  Share the Gospel
		4.  Don’t get distracted

1.  (Invitation) - If believe, don’t stand with that.  Persevere
2.  If done that, then message is clear - Stick with it
	a.  Stand firm against the Devil and his schemes
	b.  Cast out the enemies of perseverance - fear, weariness, distraction
	c.  Fear God, Refocus on Him, Help keep others focused
3.  Don’t give up.  Stick with it.
4.  (Prov 4:25-27)