Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
1 Kings 21:1-3
Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
For me, growing up in Dallas, TX means that I am a huge Dallas-area sports teams fan. Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Cowboys (NFL), and Texas Rangers (MLB). Being a Dallas-Area fan is tough since they haven’t won much but in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks shocked the world by upsetting the big, bad Miami Heat (a team that we hated) and winning a championship!
A few years later, I had the opportunity to go to Miami on a mission trip with our BCM and during our break we had the chance to go watch the Miami Heat play! After the game, a few of my friends and I ran into a guy who was giving away Miami Heat jackets for those who subscribed to New York Times Magazine. Now mind you, I was not a Heat fan at all. My allegiance was to the Dallas Mavericks…but the jackets were really cool and the deal was too good to pass up. For $7.99 I decided to sell out my team and represent the Heat by buying a wearing that jacket.
In 1 Kings 21, the character Naboth was in a similar position where he was faced with the option to choose to sell out the Lord. The wicked King Ahab offered Naboth a lot of money for his little vineyard that he had. The thing was though, according to the Law of Moses, it was forbidden that God’s people sold land that they inherited from their descendants (Leviticus 25:10-24). In other words, if Naboth were to agree to sell his land to the king, he would be directly disobeying God. Though the offering price was tempting, Naboth declined the offer and chose instead to live in obedience to the Lord and His word. The decision he made to not sell out ended up costing his life (1 Kings 21:14-16) but he saw his allegiance to the Lord as worth it.
Can I be honest with you this morning? Sadly, there are many Christians who are being tempted to sell out the Lord and damage their witness for a variety of different prices. For some the price is that momentary taste of pleasure, so we sell out the Lord for a few minutes on an explicit website or engage in a conversation with that man/woman that leads to places it doesn’t need to go. For some the price is comfort/security so we choose to not obey God when He says go to that place, share with that person, to give that amount or serve in that area–by the way, the problem there isn’t having comfort and security, it’s when those things have you. For others, the price is a momentary taste of gratification by telling off that coworker or that person that “did you wrong” and you get the chance to “really show them!”
Whatever the price tag being offered to you to sell out the Lord and your testimony IS NOT WORTH IT! It is not worth it! Our Lord Jesus Christ is worth so much more than what this world offers and what our flesh desires. He is worthy of our life and our obedience. Let me encourage you that in times of temptation, choose to submit to Him. Let us choose to follow Naboth’s example and stand for the Lord. Don’t be a sellout, stand for Jesus today and every day!
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your goodness and your love. Help me to see that you are worthy of my life and that no price tag to sell you out is worth it. Please forgive me for the times I have stumbled and have sold you out. Give me the strength to stand for you today and every day, dying to myself and choosing to walk in You. I love you. Thank you for your grace in my life. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.