Sermon

Subject
PARADOXES THAT WORK WHEN WE OBEY GOD
Text: 1 Kings 17:8-16
Introduction:
A. What is a paradox? It is a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is true.
B. The carnal mind would reason that any things in the Bible cannot be true yet they are true. Almost all things are contrary to spiritual truths.
C. May we look at a few of the paradoxes in the Bible.

I. WE GET BY GIVING (tx)
A. A person who doesn't believe the Bible would say that is
downright stupid. That could not be true.

B. The world's way is get all you can, anyway you can, and keep all you get. The Bible way is to give and God will give back to you.
C. A glance at a few of God's promises:
1. Proverbs 11:25 “The liberal soul shall be made fat.”
2. Proverbs 3:9-10
3. Malachi 3:8-12
4. 2 Cor. 9:6
D. There is a law known as the law of the harvest (Gal.6:9)
1. One must sow–give.
2. One will reap the same things as the seed one sows.
3. One will reap much more than.one sows.
4. One will reap later than when one sows.
Illustration:
Someone asked D.L. Moody why he always had a lot of money coming in for the Lord's work. He replied, ”I shovel it out and God shovel's it in, and His shovel is bigger than mine.”
C. But money is not the only thing we should be liberal in giving: Give love. Mercy. Kindness. A smile.
Illustration:
There are three kinds of giving: Grudge giving, duty giving, and thanks giving. Grudge giving says, “I hate to”; duty giving says, “I ought to”, thanks giving says, “I want to.”

II. WE LIVE BY DYING (Jn. 12-24-25)
A. The dying here means that of laying your life on the altar for God to use as He wishes. It ceases to be your life. It belongs to God (Rom.12:1).
B:' It means giving up your Everybody wants their rights these days.
C: It means taking one's hands off the control system and letting God have the driver's seat.
D: It is only as we die that we
1. It is a common belief that Saul's conviction and his eventual conversion came about because of Stephen's death

Illustration:
History tells us that one of the Emperor's, who had Christians killed, said: “We must stop killing the Christians because every time we kill one ten more rises up in his place.”

III. WE WIN BY LOSING (Rom.12:17-21)
A. In the end who won: Joseph or his brothers?
B. In the end who won: the three Hebrews or those men who had them put in the furnace?
C. In the end who won: those who crucified Jesus or Jesus?

IV: WE GO UP BY GOING DOWN (Jas.4:10; Lk.14:11)

A: The poor old publican went down in repentance and begged for mercy, but he came up from that altar with old time
B: Saul of Tarsus went down on the Damascus Road but he came up a new person in Christ asking, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

Illustration:
Botanists tell us of a little rose that grows in some deserts. It is named the Desert Rose. It appears to have no aroma whatsoever, but when someone takes it in his hand and crushes it, it gives forth a sweet, almost unequalled, aroma.