III. THROUGH DESIRE...

Lazarus desired to be fed with crumbs. (Lk. 16:21)

The Scribes desire to walk in long robes. (Lk. 20:46)

Satan desired to have Peter. (Lk. 22:31)

Ps. 10:3; 27:4; 37:4; 40:6-8; 112:10; 140:8; Prov. 11:23; 13:4

I want my desire to be right.

Gal. 6:12 speaks of those who desire to make a show in the flesh.

Forgive the personal side for a moment.

I desire to be a help. Preaching a good message is a noble goal, but there is much more to preaching than that. I want you to just love God and have a walk with Him.

Again today I got a call to pay someoneís light bill. I do feel bad when I canít help, but I just simply canít. But paying a light bill is only a very temporary help. I want to encourage you in the Lord and have you follow his guidance.

Now, that may mean at times saying some things that cut across the grain. In our times warning specifically about worldliness and direction of life is arduous. To warn of anything specific means we are called closed-minded, obdurate, pigheaded, stubborn, meddling, and sometimes ignorant and sometimes calloused.

Being a help warns you to stay away from the crowd that will lead you astray. - "Be not among winebibbers." Prov. 23:20

- "Flee also youthful lusts." II Timothy 2:22

- "Abstain from all appearance of evil." I Thess. 5:22

- "...Not in chambering and wantonness..." Rom. 13:13

Those verses may be OK until you apply them with rubber to the road. Let me be a little specific tonight.

1. "Be not among winebibbers." Prov. 23:20

Stay out of the Juke Joints and Dance scenes.

The Christian has no business down at the Country Club dance.

You will get bit if you keep hanging out at the Bad Habitz club

And Wild Bills place.

You keep riding with the beer drinkers and it will come your way. I once made a young man so angry that I was afraid he was going to put me out and make me walk home 90 miles. We were going on a so-called fishing trip and he pulled out a 6-pack of beer from the cooler in the back seat. I thought that stuff was worse than the plague. (and it is!) I fussed and squirmed until he finally got so upset that he pulled off the side of the road, stepped out of the car and flung that beer as far as he could. We continued down the road with him fussing and mad as the proverbial wet setting hen. But we didnít have any beer and I didnít get started with that mess. (I should have had enough sense just to get away altogether but didnít.)

2. "Flee also youthful lusts." II Timothy 2:22

This is for the young and grown. Just flee. Get out. Run like Joseph.

Let me give you 2 simple thoughts here.

Men - donít start complementing the women and their dress and how nice they look. You will flatter a women and may well begin what could be a most tragic road in your life. Be careful. I know I am narrow-minded, but I want to keep me and you both out of trouble. By Godís grace, as long as I pastor, I want to sound the warning.

Ladies - donít dress, walk, flaunt, speak, smell, or whatever just to catch the attention of some man. You will be caught the wrong one and got a hold of something you will wish you never had.

1. "Be not among winebibbers." Prov. 23:20

2. "Flee also youthful lusts." II Timothy 2:22

3. "Abstain from all appearance of evil." I Thess. 5:22

If warning signs flash, stop. They were flashing for a reason.

Years ago Lynette and I went down a road and say some kind of a light off in the woods. It caught just enough of my attention to slow me down a bit. It just a little bit I saw an orange cone in the middle of the road and had to put my brakes on hard to stop. Across the road was pile of dirt. A pond had washed the road out there and it was blocked only by that dirt. If we had run up on that place full speed we may well have been killed right there. We later learned that someone played what they probably thought was a cute prank and had moved the ĎRoad Closedí signs. What we had seen was the tail lights of an 18-wheeler that had run off the road. Those warnings were there for a reason.

Young ladies, if you get red flags about that boyfriend, dump him so fast that he will think you are as mean as grizzly bear.

4. "...Not in chambering and wantonness..." Rom. 13:13

Let me apply this just a bit. ĎChamberí is the word for Ďroomí. The idea here is from Ďroom to roomí or we would say Ďbedroom to bedroomí. That may not be the most theologically correct definition ever but the idea comes through. Donít be doing in public and watching what ought be reserved only for the bedroom.

Let me be more specific. Boys, if you ever get a girlfriend, you donít belong in her bedroom. I mean not even sitting on the bed playing checkers. Go ahead and tell me I am crazy, but I am a red blooded man and have not forgotten what it was like to be a boy. That boy doesnít have the most noble thoughts in his head.

And girls, you donít belong in his bedroom either.

I could give examples of this but I do want to be discretionary. That is a pathway to trouble.

I desire to please the Lord.

-That may mean saying some things that cut across the grain.

-That may mean trying to reveal Godís comfort.

I may use Deut. 33:27 as much as any Bible verse.

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: ..."

I sure am glad that James 4:8 is for the good times and the bad. "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. ..."

If we will come to the Lord, God will draw nigh to you when you turn to him.

Drugs are the ruination of many. Stay away from that crowd. Donít take that pill a class mate handed you. When you even suspect they know how to smoke Marijuana, cut out. The drug culture folks know how to look so as to draw the other like minded ones. Watch it!

But if you are caught in that trap, I can confidently say that God still loves you. The rest of James 4:8 was "...cleanse your hands ye sinners and purify your hearts ye double minded."

Then draw night to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

And on the comfort of God, When you have become despondent, draw nigh still applies.

When you become depressed, draw nigh still applies.

When you are weakened, draw nigh still applies.

When you are confused, draw nigh still applies.

Whatís your desire?

There is an old illustration that I doubt is a true story. Nonetheless it gives a good point. - An Indian brave wanted to become chief. His requirement was to ask the wise old chief a question that he could not answer. After much consideration, the young brave took a small bird and put it in his hand. He approached the Chief and asked him to declare whether the bird in his hand was dead or alive.

The old Chief thought and then said, "It is as you would have it."

"What?", the brave asked.

The Chief replied, "It is as you would have it. If I say it is dead, you will simply open your hand and release the bird to fly away. If I say it is alive, you will slowly crush the bird in your hand and squeeze it to death."

So it is with your desire - it is as you would have it.

I get frustrated inviting people to church. But if your desire is toward the Lord, that will not be an issue.

Letís look at a few Bible thoughts on directing our desire.

I. Psalm 19:10 We are to desire Godís statutes above gold.

I got an e-mail recently with this in it:

Money
It can buy a house but not a home.
It can buy a clock but not time.
It can buy you a position but not respect.
It can buy you a bed but not sleep.
It can buy you a book but not knowledge.
It can buy you medicine but not health .
It can buy you blood but not life.
So you see money isn't everything.
And it often causes pain and suffering

I tell you this because I am your friend
And as your friend I want to
Take away your pain and suffering!!!
So send me all your money and I will suffer for you!!!

A-M-E-N Cash only please!

Doesnít money turn our head so quickly?

Always choose the Will of God over financial prospering.

I. Psalm 19:10 We are to desire Godís statutes above gold.

II. Prov. 3:15; 8:11 We are to desire godly Wisdom above rubies.

Proverbs 18:1

Wisdom is much to be desired. Did you know that God will give you wisdom? James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom,..."

I see people who apparently have no wisdom toward the things of God and walk headlong into destruction.

One man I know of has received instruction and warning and caution and guidance most of his life. Nevertheless he has persisted in rebellion and doing his own thing. Without giving details, let me say that it has caught up with him.

Rebellion can be open or secret. Young people can look so clean on the outside and be like Absalom on the inside.

I. Psalm 19:10 We are to desire Godís statutes above gold.

II. Prov. 3:15; 8:11 We are to desire godly Wisdom above rubies.

III. Mk. 10:35; 11:24 We are to bring our desire to God in prayer.

Jesus did not rebuke James and John for asking in Mk. 10:35, but for what they asked. They were out of order in their desire.

What do you need? Ask God for it.

Who needs the Lord? Ask God to help them.

What problem has you befuddled? Ask God to handle it.

What care has you down? Ask God to give you a hand with it.

As a boy, I once had a pile of sand to move that seemed like a mountain to me. I worked and sweated (I know, perspired), and, well, the real truth is that I didnít exactly put much back breaking work into it. But then Daddy came to help me with it. You know what, that pile was moved in just a few minutes! Arenít you glad you have a heavenly Father to help with that load?

I John 5:15 "And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

IV. I Cor. 14:1 We are to desire to serve the Lord.

I can tell you the reason that many never win a soul to Jesus. They donít desire to. I am for all the classes and help and direction we can get, but unless there is a desire, we will get no where.

I am not the soul-winner I ought to be but I desire others to know Jesus as Savior. Ask the Lord to direct you to someone who needs Him. Go in the confidence of the Lord and Ďdesireí to be a help.

V. I Peter 2:2 We are to desire to grow as a Christian.

I always did want to be taller. I am now shorter than my wife and at least one of my children and I may well be shorter than 2 of them soon.

My desire to grow physically is over. Matter of fact, Iíd like to shrink a little bit edgewise.

But we all ought to desire to grow in faith.

Look quickly at Peterís list in II Peter 1:5-7.

If you want to be a computer expert, you best start learning something about Ďputers.

If you want to be a business owner, you best start learning something about entrepreneurial skills and managing workers.

If you want to be used of God, you best start living right, obeying, developing a godly attitude and growing in the Lord.

I. Psalm 19:10 We are to desire Godís statutes above gold.

II. Prov. 3:15; 8:11 We are to desire godly Wisdom above rubies.

III. Mk. 10:35; 11:24 We are to bring our desire to God in prayer.

IV. I Cor. 14:1 We are to desire to serve the Lord.

V. I Peter 2:2 We are to desire to grow as a Christian.

I have one more unique desire I want to mention tonight.

Phil. 1:23

Heb. 11:16 "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."

Now, I am not looking for the next bus load. But I am going.

I would like to visit a lot of places. One on the top of my list is Israel...

I may never get to go this side of the grave, but I will in the Millennial kingdom. I believe it.

You see, I have looked on Jesus, who was nothing to be desired to look upon (Is. 53:2) and have asked Him to save me. He is now beautiful in my sight.

Those wounded hands are beautiful to me.

That crown of thorns, so despised, to me is lovely.

That rugged cross, made for torture and not comfort, is appealing to me.

"Oh that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me. For the dear lamb of God, left His glory above to bear it to dark Calvary. So Iíll cherish the Old Rugged Cross Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross. And exchange it someday for a crown."