sermon: Resistance (Part Three): Persistence
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 13-Aug-16; Sermon #1336; 79 minutes
Richard Ritenbaugh focuses upon an inspiring incident in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, in which a runner, Derek Redmond, who had previously dropped out of competition because of an injured Achilles tendon, had another setback, a pulled hamstring, causing him to suddenly fall to the ground after having been in a commanding lead. Writhing in pain, with dogged determination, he managed, with some help from his devoted father, to finish the race. His inspiring example provides a spiritual analogy to all of God's called-out ones who must continually battle external obstacles (as well as the inner obstacles of carnal human nature), erecting a formidable barrier of resistance. The elite athlete, not always the one with the superior skills, nevertheless is the one with the gritty persistence to fight on regardless of the obstacles, wanting nothing to do with mediocrity. Persistence is the key attribute, having the attending synonyms endurance, steadfastness, or staying the course. Jesus counseled the value of this trait in the examples of the persistent neighbor asking for a loaf of bread in the middle of the night and the importunate widow who wore out the judge. Isaac provided a wonderful example of this tenacity, as he trusted God, repeatedly moving away from quarrelsome situations, trusting God to provide. Isaac, as a type of Christ, prefigured Jesus' returning to God the Father for sustenance and strength. Similarly, we are to return to the well of God's Spirit if we are to move forward. To develop Godly persistence, we should (1) have a clearly defined goal we desire with all our heart, (2) have a clearly established plan we can work on immediately, (3) make an irrevocable decision to reject all negative suggestions, and (4) accept encouragement and help from those on the same path.
Abimelech Beer-Sheba consistent prayer and Bible study Continuance Constant Derek Redmond - Never Give Up Derek Redmond: The Olympian who never gave up Elite athlete Esek I Corinthians 15:58 Genesis 26: 12 Hebrews 3:14; 10:25 Isaac's wells John 4: 7:38 Keep knocking Last one standing Luke 11:5 Mark 14: Matthew 6:33 Mental ability Mental pain One foot in front of the other Overcoming resistance Parable of the persistent widow Persistence Philippians 4:8 Physical pain Practice, practice, practice Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane Progress Pushing through barriers Rahobath Running water as a metaphor of God's Holy Spirit Saloon brawl Steadfast to the end Uncompromising Unmovable Water as a life and death commodity Well of oath Without modesty
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