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Perseverance

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Growing up under my parents they would not let me quit anything. I did not have to start some things but I could not quit what I started. Of course some things were not optional as to wether or not I could do some things like going to church. This was not an option no matter who the youth pastor was or if my friends were there.
I could not quit anything I started. I remember that I had decided I was smarter than my mother in the 4th grade. I had started choir in 4th grade. You have to understand that I have absolutely no musical ability whatsoever. I don’t even play the radio well. I am bad with music. I wanted out of choir so I thought I could fool my mother. My mom would pick me up after school and so I told my mom that we did not have choir practice anymore. I remember I would get in the car and my mom would say I thought you had choir practice today and I would say with great confidence Nope! So this went on for a few weeks and then my mom got an invitation to a concert at the local mall and guess who’s choir would be performing? I told my mom that we were done. So guess who went to the choir concert. You guessed it this guy. I had missed all the practices and so I had no clue what the words was. Now let me remind you that I have no musical talent whatsoever so I struggled to stand up there and fake it. I was trying to keep up with the songs they were singing but I am sure it looked like a bad film were the lips are off with the voice.
I learned a lesson that day that never again would I try to quit something that I had started. I learned the importance of perseverance.

Perseverance. Action or condition of steadfastness. OT Israel waited generations for fulfillment of promises which many believers never lived to see (Heb 11:1, 13, 21, 22, 39). The promise to Abraham sustained hope for centuries before Canaan was possessed.

stead•fast \ˈsted-ˌfast also -fəst\ adjective

[Middle English stedefast, from Old English stedef+st, from stede + f+st fixed, fast] before 12th century

1 a: firmly fixed in place: IMMOVABLE

b: not subject to change 〈the steadfast doctrine of original sin—Ellen Glasgow〉

Last week, we looked at wide is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the road that leads to life. We know that more people will choose destruction over life.
We also saw that this narrow road is filled with bumps, curves, hills, potholes, and is a difficult road.
I must say that I am fully aware that this narrow road brings life. I am also aware that the wide road that leads to destruction is not easy and many of you will testify to this fact. The point is that submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ does not bring about a rosy life of ease and that following Christ is hard.
So if we know that following Christ is narrow and hard and that many will choose destruction what are we to keep doing as far as making disciples goes?
Jesus in says this.
Luke 8:4–8 HCSB
As a large crowd was gathering, and people were flocking to Him from every town, He said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Other seed fell on the rock; when it sprang up, it withered, since it lacked moisture. Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground; when it sprang up, it produced a crop: 100 times what was sown.” As He said this, He called out, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
Luke 8
So again we see the narrow path when it comes to sowing seeds. Some seed could fall on a path, birds could eat it, fall in the rocks, fall among the thorns or it could fall on good ground.
1 in 4 chance as Jesus describes were this could fall.
Perseverance
Romans 5:1–4 HCSB
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.
Romans 5:1-

Some of the important Greek manuscripts read, “Let us have peace (echōmen) with God.” This seems to be the preferred reading. If so, then the sense is, “Let us keep on having (in the sense of enjoying) peace with God.” Peace has been made by God through our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Eph. 2:14a), which fact is demonstrated by God’s justification. A believer is not responsible for having peace in the sense of making it but in the sense of enjoying it

Rejoice in our afflictions because affliction produces endurance or perseverance.
Perseverance: the action of being fixed in place or immovable
The lack of perseverance is an epidemic in our community. Don’t believe me just look around. Still don’t believe me try to start something and ask others to join you. See how many are still with you at the end of the project verses when you started the project.
Every year our baseball roster swells and we have many kids start the season with us but when the kid starts to fail at the sport or they tell mom or dad one time that they don’t like something then they are allowed to quit.
Perseverance is the action of being fixed in place or immovable.
says afflictions produce endurance/perseverance produces proven character and proven character produces hope.
Notice the chain of actions: Afflictions, Endurance/perseverance, character, to hope
Hope lacks because afflictions come and perseverance is never completed to bring about character that produces hope.
Everyone Perseveres in something. You either persevere in obedience or you persevere in disobedience.
Romans 1:32 HCSB
Although they know full well God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die —they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.
Romans
You can become a fixed quitter and that in everything you do you quit or you can become a fixed finisher in that in everything you do you make sure to finish.
Everyone perseveres in something!
James 1:3–4 HCSB
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:
James 1:2–4 HCSB
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-
James 1:12 HCSB
A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
This week Julius at the end of the week as we were in prayer began to speak in to my life and I believe it is so fitting for this message. He looked at me and said Pastor Jonathan you do understand that when you take test the teacher is silent.
He says, you know the teacher prepares you for the test and then passes out the test then goes back to their desk and sits down at the desk and is silent.
He said sometimes you may think the Lord is being silent when he passes out the test but the Lord is near. He is present.
James says consider it great joy whenever you face trials of many kinds knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance or endurance. (The ability to be immovable or steadfast)
You will be complete mature and not lacking anything
A man who endures trials is blessed! When he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
The faith chapter and trials faced by the “Heroes” of the faith
Hebrews 11:4 HCSB
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.
Abel died because of his sacrifice
Hebrews 11:8 HCSB
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going.
Hebrews
He did not know where he was going
Hebrews 11:11 HCSB
By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.
Hebrews 11:
She was past the age
Hebrews 11:
Hebrews 11:24–25 HCSB
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin.
chose to suffer with the people fo God rather than to enjoy the pleasure of sin
Hebrews 11:30 HCSB
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled by the Israelites for seven days.
Hebrews
Seven days most of us have a hard time spending time in prayer after 5 minutes
Hebrews 11:32–40 HCSB
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.
Hebrews 11:32–39 HCSB
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised,
Hebrews 11:32-
Hebrews 12:
Hebrews 12:1–2 HCSB
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Run the race with endurance or perseverance(Steadfastness or the ability to not be moved)
Adam, Kyle and myself have been working out. We work out in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. Last week, on our warm up Adam suggested we take a weight with us and pass it around as we ran. It was 25lbs. Running with the weight slowed me down anytime I had it. As soon as I would pass it off, I could run faster.
He then had another bright Idea. He said lets take 10lb weights and put one in each hand and we would throw punches with those 10lb weights for like 50 yards. We then came back 50 yards and he said put the weights down and now throw some punches.
He said you feel that how much faster your hands are now that you don’t have the weights!
Lay aside the weight and sin that ensnares us and run the race with what?
Endurance or Perseverance
Affliction<Perseverance<Character<HOPE
We remain Hopeless because affliction comes and perseverance is never pursued. Perseverance is to choose to be steadfast or immovable. Satan no matter what you throw at me, I will continue to declare that you are Lord, You are God, You are King.
I have heard many of your stories. Some of you have faced some serious affliction in your life time and now as you choose to follow Christ you continue to face affliction. There is a lot of affliction in this area as well and in our community.
So with all the affliction what if we as a people began to persevere through the affliction. What does scripture say will happen? It says we will have character and what does this character produce. It produces HOPE!
This community can be one of the biggest communities of Hope in this region and in this area. Your family can become a family of hope. Your life can be a life full of hope. Your marriage can be one with hope. Your children can live with hope.
In order to have this we must learn to persevere in the midst of trials and afflictions.
God called me here not to pastor a bunch of quitters but to meet some of the most afflicted people and see Him glorified as His people become hope filled when we pursue him.
The story of Jackson!
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