the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Year B - Ordinary 19

1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalm 34:1-8
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-51

If You've Been to the Mountain Top,
Watch Out for the Valleys
[Elijah and the Battle of the Gods]

I ran out of time and didn't get to write out my sermon this morning. Here is the outline I preached from.

I. Ahab, Jezebel and Baal
A. Ahab turned the people to Baal
B. Jezebel, the daughter of the King of Sidon
C. Baal was the god of the Phoenecians
1. He was the god of thunder
2. He brought the rain that watered the crops
3. He was the god of fertility
4. Baal demanded the first fruits of everything
a. Including the sacrifice of the first born child
D. They were an evil couple

II. Elijah called by God
A. Came from the wilderness
1. He had been a hermit
2. He lived in the caves with the wild animals
B. Announced a drought to be brought by God
C. The drought lasted three years

III. The Contest on Mt. Carmel
A. Who controls the rain?
B. Who controls the lightning?
C. The priests of Baal and their altar
1. They danced and chanted
2. Elijah taunted them
D. Elijah and his altar
1. The moat
2. The Water
E. Fire from Heaven
F. The people were persuaded
G. The killing of the priests of Baal
H. The rain comes at last
I. God’s Victory is complete

IV. The turning of the tide
A. Ahab and Jezebel put a price on Elijah’s head
B. Elijah’s fear
C. Elijah Flees to the wilderness
D. Elijah is now in deep despair
E. He lays down under the juniper tree
1. He is exhausted
2. He is out of control
3. He falls asleep

V. The Salvation of God
A. When our guard is down, God’s powers are at work on us
B. God sends an Angel
1. The Angel feeds Elijah
2. Like the Manna God provides the bread
3. The Angel beckons rest and more sleep
4. The Angel comes a second day
C. God sends Elijah to Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai)
1. Elijah has an encounter with God
2. God sends him on another mission

VI. The Mountain Top and the Valley
A. God uses Mountain Top Experiences
1. To inspire us
2. To demonstrate his mighty power
3. There is no high like God’s mountain top
B. God uses the Valleys too
1. The mountain top doesn’t last
2. How quickly we forget the power of God
3. How easily we are cast into despair
4. When we are in the Valley is when God comes to us
a. Not in the powerful ways of the Mountain top
b. But in the still small voice of the valley

VII. Jesus is the Bread of Life
A. Whoever comes to him will never be hungry
B. Whoever believes in him will never be thirsty
C. Be still and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10
D. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke
is easy, and my burden is light.

Thanks be to God


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