Beating a Dead Horse

     Have you ever done a task and felt like you were beating a dead horse? Well that is how I started to feel after this last eight weeks of class. I was working on a homiletics class on preparing a sermon. The sermon was on Philippians 1:12:18, and almost all of my course work for the last eight weeks has centered around this one portion of Scripture. I have had to do a lot of praying in the last week to get the needed motivation to finish this sermon. There were a few faithful FaceBook friends who offered up prayers alongside of me, and the words just started to flow. 
     I am not sure why it was so hard to write this sermon compared to others I have written in just a few days. Like I said I think it was because I was beating a dead horse. While I am positive some of my contemporaries have a different take on this set of verses I had exhausted my knowledge and understanding of them. I will more than likely post the sermon here on the blog in a few days. There are several verses that help me realize that the work I do is not just for men but for God and they are 1 Cor 10:31, and Col 3:23-24. It is easy to get wrapped up in all the preparation of writing and never actually sit down and write the sermon. I must say that I enjoy all of the work that goes into it and learning how to come up with better illustrations has been helpful. This class has taught me some things I can use in  my own ministry here with you all(my readers) and with the world at large such as those I preach to on occasion. 
     I know that it is not easy to do something that at times can feel like a drudgery, but let me encourage you to finish the work that is set before you. In the end you will be proud that you set your mind to something and finished it and it did not beat you. There will be times you just can’t do somethings and that is okay too, give yourself permission to know when those times are. But, don’t give up just because something gets hard, if you need to ask for help. For instance my oldest son is one of the smartest kids I have ever met (I’m not just saying that because he is my son.) He is in the fifth grade reading at and eleventh grade level. But lately he has been struggling with his math homework and needing more help. He wants to quit because it is hard and everything has always come easy to him, at least pertaining to school work. We won’t let him quit we encourage and help as necessary. I know right now you are asking yourself “What does that have to do with anything?” The answer is simple, if we let him quit he would never learn how to persist in life, and deal with those dead horses that will arise. Have you ever heard the saying,”How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” That is the process I had to use in writing this sermon heck even writing this post. 
It’s your turn now, what dead horses are you struggling with? How can I help?

5 thoughts on “Beating a Dead Horse

  1. What the pope might say about animals is irrelevant. He is teaching about an afterlife which is not what Christianity is about. We have hope and knowledge of a resurrection, whom Christ was the firstfruits. We don't serve a G-d of the dead, but of the living. Nothing he says that might pander to ancient egyptian or grecian beliefs that have carried over for far too long into our faith should matter.


  2. Ajay,

    thank you for your response. I can kind of understand where you are coming from. I am not aware of any Egyptian or Grecian beliefs that say animals will be in heaven. Not to say they don't exist I just personally do not know of them. Per my argument in the post of us being made in the Imago Dei.



  3. My comment about ancient Egyptian or Grecian beliefs was actually in reference to “heaven” all together.

    Our hope has never (nor should ever) be about a heavenly domain, but instead in the resurrection of ourselves by Christ. The Messiah was the first, but He himself said “I am the Resurrection and the Life”. Eternal life has nothing to do with any sort of heaven and everything to do with actually being alive. So, what the pope preaches is just nonsense and therefore worthy of being rejected, period.


  4. So to make sure I understand your argument we are not to look forward to the new heaven and new Earth, but only to the resurrection? While I believe in the bodily resurrection of the saints; I am not sure that I agree with the belief that is our ultimate goal. I could be completely misunderstanding what you are saying. If there were no need of us worrying about heaven why would it be mentioned in Scripture? My goal is to live a life pleasing to God that when it is all done he says “well done my good and faithful servant.” and that will take place in heaven.


  5. I am in no way discounting the New Heaven and New Earth. I look forward to that; however, I'm not convinced that “well done, thou good and faithful servant” does take place in heaven. The parable of the talents (where that wonderful phrase comes from) doesn't say “and then the servants all went to where their master was” it says “and when the master of those servants came he reckoned with them”. Well done thou good and faithful servant is something I too look forward to hearing, but I am very confident that will take place at the bodily resurrection and not in Heaven.

    That all being said, I hold firm the belief that what makes Christianity different is that unlike nearly every single religion in the world…we don't go on about the afterlife. We're not concerned about where our “souls” go (or where animals go). We know where we will be when our Master arrives. It is the resurrection and eternal life (and I include the New Earth and New Heaven in that) that we have hope in. Our Savior, the Messiah, saved us from Sin and Death. He arose as a sign that our faith is not in vain, that like him we will arise and be given incorruptible forms. He is the first fruits and the high priest of our people.

    So, I mean, basically I just think we shouldn't fight false teachers about heaven and who goes there. We're not worried about Elysian Fields where we will gain our reward. Our reward is real physical actual Eternal Life.

    But, ultimately we're agreed on the essentials, the Pope is attempting to dissuade men from Imagios Dei and the uniqueness of Salvation.


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