What's in a nickname? Many people have a nickname - a name they are referred to, different than their given name. A nickname is an attitude or attribute that describes you.
If God were to give you a nickname, what would it be? Faithful? Honest? Lazy? Greedy? Real? Wanna be?
The goal of every Christian is to be given the nickname MOG - Man of God, or WOG - Woman of God. (For this sermon, MOG is to be inclusive of Men and Women).
Synopsis of Bible passage. 1 Kings 13:1-24 tells the story of an MOG (Man of God) and King Jeroboam. Jeroboam had set up false gods and false worship centers in Israel. The MOG was sent, by God, to pronounce Judgment on Jeroboam.
1. The MOG exists for a heavenly purpose. 1 Kings 13:1-3
God's purpose for us is not the same as our purpose for ourselves. We have been born for an eternal, Godly, spiritual purpose. Our destiny is heavenly, not earthly.
The world tells us to decide what our purpose is to be. The Bible tells us to receive our purpose from God; God has knit us together in our mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
The best way to figure out our purpose is to ask God - constantly, daily, hourly, moment by moment.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
2. The MOG has a message from God. 1 Kings 13:1-3
God has given us each a message to share with someone else - food for the hungry, encouragement for the depressed, Jesus Christ for the lost. Our individual message is for specific people at specific times.
God speaks to everyone - but not everyone listens to God. Can you remember a time that you felt you needed to say something to somebody and didn't?
Many people know what they should say and don't. Why? Some of us are afraid of what people will think - "uh, excuse me, Fred, but God told me to tell you ______." Others of us don't think we have the right to say something to someone else - "Rita, God told me you should stop ________."
But, the truth is that being a Christian gives us the right to say what God is telling us. We are God's ambassadors to the world. We are his mouthpiece.
3. The MOG is willing to suffer for the truth. 1 Kings 13:4
Our culture tells us that conflict is to be avoided. The truth is that conflict is a part of life.
Fear of conflict is not a reason to not do what God is calling us to, it is an excuse.
Conflict will happen to us, it is our responsibility - as Christians - to follow what God is telling us to, no matter what the outcome. Obedience is not determined by outcome. Obedience is doing what God says to do.
Even if people disagree with you, they will respect you more than if you simply go along with what them to stay away from conflict.
4. The MOG is protected by God. 1 Kings 13:4
God protects those who obey him.4 So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, "Arrest him!" Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself.
5. The MOG has favor with God. 1 Kings 13:6
The only way to win favor with God is to obey him. Obedience is not always easy.
Obedience is like working out. The harder you work out the stronger you get. The stronger you get the easier working out becomes.
The same is for the Christian who obeys God by; reading the Bible, praying to God, listening to God, speaking what God tells us to say, being a part of a community of believers.
The more you obey, the more God is able to bless you and the larger your life becomes.
6. The MOG is not for sale. 1 Kings 13:7-10
When God calls us to do or say something, he is calling us to do so out of obedience. Once we obey, our job is done.
Many times, as we obey, the world will try and dilute our obedience with bribes (freedom from conflict) or safety from risk.
Remember, Satan will do anything - subtle or forceful - to get us to abandon our message and ministry.
That is why the basics of prayer, Bible reading (daily), listening to God and being a part of the Christian community are so important. Through these things we become more aware of how Satan will try and take the good and make it for the bad.
The MOG is not for sale - comfort and ease will not buy the MOG.
7. The MOG is not invincible. 1 Kings 13:20-24
When God calls us to speak in his name, the same God also holds us accountable in our lives.
Our obedience does not make us better, or bigger than others. Our obedience simply allows God to work through us. We are still humans, just like those God is calling us to speak to.
We answer to the God whose word we share.
- Decide to walk away from the old, complacent, lazy, fear-of-conflict person that we are.
- Walk into obedience to God. Follow God and do what he says.
- Ask God to open the eyes of our heart, that we may see where we are not living in obedience to him.