In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about grumbling, giving examples, explaining the consequences, of grumbling, and why we should avoid it.  Here are some excerpts:

Grumbling– Not a Spiritual Gift

“Not only is grumbling not a spiritual gift, it grieves the heart of God. God responded graciously to the people of Israel on these three occasions, but the almost-perpetual drip, drip, drip of their grumbling and whining and complaining and murmuring and fault-finding and finger-pointing and lack of trust in God throughout their 40 years in the wilderness hadserious consequences. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:5: “With most of them (theIsraelites, that is), God was not pleased.” A whole generation of them, with the exception ofCaleb and Joshua, forfeited the opportunity to enter the Promised Land. And Paul warns that the same thing can happen to us, if we allow grumbling and discontentment and lack of trust in God to occupy our hearts.

Israel’s grumbling was not limited to these three occasions in Exodus 15, 16 and 17. You canread about a number of other occasions in the Book of Numbers, to which Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 10. The warning from Paul is clear: Don’t do what they did. Learn from their mistakes. Don’t let unbelief or a grumbling, rebellious spirit take up residence in your heart. Don’t!

Do Everything without Grumbling

In fact, as Paul writes to the Philippians, we who profess to be followers of Christ are to “do everything” without grumbling, “without complaining or arguing” or bickering (Philippians 2:14). Why? For the sake of the gospel and our witness. So that our lives may be “a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society” and “provide people with a glimpse of goodliving and of the living God” (2:14, MSG). So that we can “carry the life-giving Message (ofthe gospel) into the night” (2:16, MSG)… that we may “shine like stars” in a dark anddepraved world as we hold out the word of life to people all around us who desperately need it (2:15-16).

A complaining spirit damages our witness and effectively neutralizes the gospel.Don’t neutralize the gospel of God’s amazing grace and the power of Jesus to save undeserving sinners (like you and me) by being a grumbler or a whiner or a complainer.

When you feel like grumbling, focus on God’s grace instead. Instead of giving in to the urgeof whining about whatever is wrong in your life, or with the world, take a moment to count your blessings. Try to remember that someone else is happy – content – with less than what you and I have. Even more, remember Jesus and what He has done for you. And seize the opportunity, no matter your circumstances, no matter your problems or challenges or hardships, to trust God. At all times. In all things. For all things.”

November 17, 2017

Exodus 15:22-27, 16:1-18, 17:1-7

Dr. Neil Smith

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