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How To Keep Going.. When You Can't Go On

"For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Good Morning Beloved, 

Welcome to worship, we're so glad you're here! 

As I was preparing for today's message, I was reminded of Paul's words in I Timothy 1:12-17, allow me to just share those with you. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

Ministry is a mercy. You’re there not because you’re better than others, but because you demonstrate mercy, you demonstrate grace. I am sure, there are many like myself, who wonder why the Lord called them to ministry, and furthermore, why He continues to keep us there. Everything that comes to us, is a mercy from God, everything. Ministry is a mercy, God calls us, equips us, surrounds us with others who come alongside us to serve the Lord. It is a gift of grace, to the unworthy, the undeserving. We've done nothing to earn such an honor and great privilege. At best, we are flawed and imperfect. We must never lose sight of that fact! 

The apostle Paul was acutely aware of this truth, in fact, in the book of Romans chapter 7, verses 24 and 25, he wrote, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."

Things in this life have a way to beat you down. And, there are a lot of them, things like health, finances, worry, stress, depression, anger, guilt . . . They all have the capability to beat you down, but what if, what if we could beat back? There are often situations in life, there are circumstances, that beat us down, however, many times it’s people who beat other people down. Why do we do it? Why do people put others down? Sometimes it appears to be obvious. To put others down to demonstrate power over them, to feel superior themselves.

Sometimes we put others down to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we put others down because we are jealous. It’s easy for us to be critical of those who know more or have more have more than we do. But, allow me to ask you this, are we exposing their sin of arrogance or greed, or just our own sin of envy. Sometimes we put others down because they are different. Maybe it’s just our human nature.

Paul said in Romans 3:5-7,  "But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?" 
And in verse 10, "There is none righteous, not even one." 
Verse 23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"  

No matter which way we turn, sometimes we can’t always seem to make ourselves do right. we want to, but we can’t. It’s a constant struggle, even as a believer, someone who has been born again by Christ, we still have problems with our nature don’t we? However, there is good news, we do have some control!  

What if you were able to take back the life God promised you—you know the promise, the one Jesus made at the end of John 10:10, when he said, "...... I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

The apostle Paul knew a little something about being beaten down, yet for the sake of Christ, he kept going. They had accused him of lying about his successes. They had accused him of a secret life of sin. They had accused him of being corrupt in the sense that he was in ministry for money. 

Let's bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word for us today, for this great and powerful truth. We thank You for this marvelous gift. Lord, may these verses given to us to strengthen us, to show us the path of righteousness, of endurance. Help us to endure by seeing Him who is invisible, help us to see far beyond the mundane. May we live in such a way that brings glory to You.

Father, what a privilege to live in the light of eternity, in the prospect of heaven. Thank You for the precious gift of Your saving grace and the promise that we will enter into light and glory, and be with You forever.
In Christs' name

Today's Message: How To Keep Going.. When You Can't Go On
Open with me your Bibles with me to the fourth chapter of second Corinthians. Today, as we continue our study of this magnificent chapter, we come to the end, verses 11 through 18. Allow me to read to you from this marvelous, rich text, as you follow along as I read. II Corinthians 4:11-18. 

"For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 

Allow me to begin with a little story, and I know I've told this story before, however, I believe it still holds great value for us today.
An old Cherokee chief is teaching his grandson about life: "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. "This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old chief simply replied, "The one you feed."

I'd like you to ask yourself, which one are you feeding today? Which one are you going to feed tomorrow or next week?
The reality is people put other people down. Yes, even Christian people feed the evil wolf, and far too often. How do we do it? How do we put others down? With words . . .

Beat down with words of discouragement. Sometimes the Bible is so clear. Like Ephesians 4:29, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

Yet, quite often with us, there is heard more than one discouraging word. Sometimes, it's a whole paragraph, or even a chapter! And those words hurt, they cause emotional damage, and they scar. Sometimes, for a lifetime. We must learn to be careful with what we say, you can hurt people, and you may not even realize it.

We also beat down with words of criticism. I love that quote, attributed to anonymous. The critic is one who never sees the good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. The critic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Have you ever met someone like that. Someone who could only see the bad, and were never able to see the good, no matter how much or how great the good was? I’ve heard it said that for some people, criticism is just part of their nature, and if they are not criticizing they are not happy.

When I hear that, I feel sorry for them, I pray for them. We all need people to teach us and to correct us when we are wrong. We all need people to come along side of us and help us to be the best we can be. But pure constant criticism doesn’t have redeeming qualities! It doesn't have building up as it’s goal—it’s work is to tear down, to destroy. Criticism is never part of the solution—in fact, it’s part of the problem, most often the biggest part—especially when we constantly beat each other down with it!

Another way people beat others down is with lies. We all like to joke about politicians telling lies. However, the truth is politicians don’t lie any more than the rest of the world. All people have the tendency to say things about other people that are untrue, when it helps us, when it furthers our agenda.

We have these preconceived notions about people, and we hear things, gossip, rumors, second, third hand whisperings, and before you know it, you’re putting down someone with lies, innuendo and falsehood. God knows the trap: In Ephesians 4:25-27, in speaking to Christians.
"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." 

When you receive Jesus Christ, you become part of the family of God—so why would you want to hurt the ones you love. I know what some of you are thinking, "Maybe I don’t love certain people in this family?" Well, maybe you don’t. But the Bible says, if you don’t, "Maybe you’re not really in His family?" Just think about that for a moment!

Why don’t we stop beating one another down, and start building each other up? So, what if you’re the one who’s been beat down? How do you respond to those who have beat you down? Here’s how you respond—YOU BEAT BACK! That’s right, you beat back! But not in the way you're probably thinking…

You beat back the desire to retaliate. Yes, I know that’s tough to do, because that seems contrary to our nature and it’s the opposite of what our society teaches. Like the bumper sticker that says, "I don’t get mad, I get even." In fact, in many ways it’s become "The American way."

Allow me to read to you Romans 12:18-21, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 

Evil for evil is man’s way. Evil for good is Satan’s way. Good for evil is God’s way, and if we are God's people, God's way must be our way. God’s way, must be our way. 

Luke 6:27-28 teaches, "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." 

Matthew 5:45 says, "so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." 

That’s how we break the cycle. That’s how we break the cycle of putting one another down, criticism and discouragement and negativity. It’s the way we act and live like who we really are—Children of our Father in heaven. 

Beat back unrighteousness with righteous living! I John 3:18-19, "Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him." 

There's an old saying, that what you mock will surely overtake you, And, you become a monster, so that the monster doesn't break you! It hurts when someone beats you down, when someone discourages you, criticizes you, lies about you. However, we are never to fight unrighteousness with unrighteousness. It’s far too easy to become that which you hate. Don’t become the monster so the monster won’t break you. Instead, anchor yourself to the Rock, so that you won’t be broken by unrighteousness and then fight unrighteousness with righteous living. Live by the Spirit and don’t give in to the desires of the sinful nature. 

Galatians 5:16-18 teaches, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." 

In Closing... 

When you do that, you can know this for sure: Psalm 37:25, "I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread." Do you know why? Because God will take care of you, when you are living for Him. As God told Paul, My grace is sufficient for you . . . Really that’s all you can do. You can’t control the person next to you, and though some try, that’s the problem, but you can’t really control them, and thank God, you won’t be held accountable for what they say or do. Can I get an Amen?

You are, however, accountable for you. You cannot make someone else love, but you can love. You can’t make someone else forgive, but you can forgive. You can’t make someone act and talk in a righteous manner, but you can live righteously. Remember what the Bible said in Romans 12:21, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Here’s what so good for you and I today. I know a lot of you have been living that way, to the best of your ability, by the power of the Spirit, you’ve been building others up, not beating them down, you’ve been beating back unrighteousness with righteous living. You’ve been beating back vengeance with love. You’ve been beating back the desire to retaliate, even when others beat you or everyone else down. I want you to know, your lives are inspiring and encouraging to all of us. However, I'd like to ask you to do one more thing: Teach someone who is not doing it, how to do it! 

We all know someone who’s always beating people down, we have an opportunity to show them a better way. Or someone who’s been beat down, and who’s fighting unrighteousness with unrighteousness, and show them how to beat back God’s way, with love, with forgiveness and righteous living.   

Beloved, I've got the hammer here! How many of you have ever hit your thumb or finger with a hammer? And, how many of you can repeat what you said in church?  

The hammer’s a great symbol, because you get down to it, it does two things: You can tear stuff down with it, you can bust stuff, break stuff, and by the way, any one can do that with a hammer. Or this hammer, in a skilled hand, can build stuff. It can hold stuff together, and build a big, beautiful home or church building, or just about anything else.  

That hammer is like you and me—it’s like our life. Any one can tear others down. But in a skilled Hand, God’s hand, your life, can build others up and together We can take back the life God promised us!
May it be so.. 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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