Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 11 June 2013

Topic Groups: SECURITY

Sermon synopsis: People find security in a country with a good economy and low crime rate.
Isaiah 8:11-13. This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:
Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.
Almost 20 years ago South Africa went through change as democratic elections resulted in the ANC coming to power.
There were all sorts of predictions of civil war etc but we were blessed to see that none of the doomsday predictions materialized.
Hundreds of thousands of people left the country prior to the elections and afterwards, seeking security and a future in other countries.
By the year 2000 an estimated 2 million had emigrated.

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In South Africa today security

is big business, but in general

worldwide with the threat of

terrorism, security is a major

concern and a large amount

of money is spent to guarantee

personal security and security

for the citizens of a country.


People find security in a country with a good economy and low crime rate. Isaiah 8:11-13. This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. Almost 20 years ago South Africa went through change as democratic elections resulted in the ANC coming to power. There were all sorts of predictions of civil war etc but we were blessed to see that none of the doomsday predictions materialized. Hundreds of thousands of people left the country prior to the elections and afterwards, seeking security and a future in other countries. By the year 2000 an estimated 2 million had emigrated.


At the same time we have seen hundreds of thousands of people all over Africa flock to South Africa as they see it as a haven away from their own war torn and impoverished nations. This tendency is seen all over the world with Mexicans going to the USA and Cubans braving the sea in overcrowded boats and refugees fleeing Afghanistan and Pakistan and other war torn regions to make their way to Europe. Now this is understandable behaviour for the unbelievers, but when Christians react like this, then something is wrong. Some Christians go to great lengths to get into countries that are closed to the gospel and where Christians are under great threat, to do mission work. The life of Hudson Taylor, who sacrificed so much to penetrate China with the gospel is a prime example of this. This fleeing tendency is the reverse. When God calls us, he calls us to something not away from something. Are you where God wants you? If God wants you in Afghanistan, then it is the safest place for you ie: in the centre of his will.


Psalm 91:1-16.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.


Psalm 91:1-16 (continued)

If you say, The Lord is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.


If God has allowed the heathen to rule over us, it is because we as a nation deserve it, the solution is not to try run away from it, but to humble ourselves and pray and seek his face.

Jeremiah 42:13-18. However, if you say, We will not stay in this land, and so disobey the Lord your God, and if you say, No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread, then hear the word of the Lord, you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach; you will never see this place again.


People find security in money.

We just have to look at Greece, in particular Cyprus to see how uncertain money is. People lost huge percentages of their savings.

Luke 21:13-21. Then someone called from the crowd, Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me. Jesus replied, Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that? Then he said, Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. Then he told them a story: A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops. Then he said, I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry! But God said to him, You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for? Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthlywealth but not have a rich relationship with God.


Matthew 6:19-21 & 24-25.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?


Matthew 6:26-33.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


Psalm 49

Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, both low and high, rich and poor alike: My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle: Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them, the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough so that they should live on forever and not see decay. For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish.


Psalm 49 (continued)

This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendour of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendour will not descend with them. Though while they live they count themselves blessed and people praise you when you prosper they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life. People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.


People find security in youth and fear growing old, they find security in health and good looks.

Large sums of money are spent on surgery and cosmetics to perpetuate youth and stave off the ravages of time, but we all are destined to put off this body of flesh that we fuss over and pamper.

Isaiah 53:2.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

I am not saying that one should not take care of yourself and make the best of what you have, but don’t let that be your security and don’t think of yourself more highly than others.


People find security in rank or office.

This is unfortunately true even in the Church, where people insist on being called Pastor and some denominations even have bishops and arch bishops etc Pastor in the NIV and Bishop in the KJV simply mean overseer in the Greek or Elder, but people like to elevate themselves and give themselves titles to cater to their feelings of self importance.

Matthew 23:6-12.

They love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called Rabbi by others. But you are not to be called Rabbi, for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth father, for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.


People find security in Education and Qualifications.

Study must not be an end in itself, but a means to an end. The tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden could be cultivated but not lived off.

Jesus had vast knowledge, gained as a man however, as he had laid aside his Divine knowledge when he was incarnated. He didn’t have the Diplomas on his wall though or the Degree after his name.

John 7:14-18.

Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews there were amazed and asked, How did this man get such learning without having been taught? Jesus answered, My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.



John 7:45-49.

Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, Why didn’t you bring him in? No one ever spoke the way this man does, the guards replied. You mean he has deceived you also? the Pharisees retorted. Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law there is a curse on them.

Peter & John.

Acts 4:13.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.


People find security in a job. I worked in Telkom for 10 years and then 25 years ago after selling my house I resigned and left a secure job, a pension and medical aid with my wife 3 months pregnant and went to YWAM where for 4 to 5 months my only income was R50 from my Dad. There are times when the Lord tests us to see where our security lies, it may not be the same test for all of us, but it will challenge us as to what or who our foundation is. It may be the loss of a spouse or a job or your health, the question is will you surrender to his will and trust him even when you don’t understand?


People find security in their talents and gifts.

1 Corinthians 4:7.

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Ephesians 4:7-12.

When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people…… So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service,


People find security in being popular.

It is natural for people to want to be liked and even be renown, but these desires must be dealt with if we want to follow Christ, otherwise you will fall into the trap of being a man pleaser and that always leads to compromise. Jesus said if they hated me, they will hate you.

Luke 6:26.

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

John 12:42-43.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.


John 15:18-20.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.


People find security in Religion and traditions.

John 9:8-22.

His neighbours and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg? Some claimed that he was. Others said, No, he only looks like him. But he himself insisted, I am the man. How then were your eyes opened? they asked. He replied, The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see. Where is this man? they asked him. I don’t know, he said. They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He put mud on my eyes, the man replied, and I washed, and now I see.


John 9:8-22 (continued)

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath. But others asked, How can a sinner perform such signs? So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened The man replied, He is a prophet. They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. Is this your son? they asked. Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see? We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself. His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.


Mark 7:5-8.

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands? He replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.

I have met numerous people who are trapped in a Religion that is not a reality but merely something they were born into and they will not leave that comfort zone as it will entail having family turn their backs on them and in some cases even kill them.


Story by a Pastor:

For almost nine years I was the pastor of a very traditional Baptist Church in South Carolina. When I took over as Senior Minister, however, following a building program, the finance committee was deeply worried about paying for the new pews. They were beautiful pews, 28 of them mahogany coloured with white ends. We had long pews in the middle-20 seaters-and short pews on the sides-5 seaters. But they weren’t paid for and the bill was past due.

At an emergency meeting of the financial committee, someone had a good idea. “Let us put bronze plaques on the ends of the pews” one man suggested. “We can put the people’s names on them. We’ll sell the pews-$250 for the long ones and $150 for the short ones.”


The church had tried for a year to raise the money unsuccessfully. But when they agreed to put the names of people on them, the money was raised in four days and there were another 30 families who offered to give money, but it was too late.

God allows us crutches. Putting bronze plaques on pews is a crutch. It takes time to recognize we serve a God who is capable of healing cripples.

Once the pews were paid for, we noticed a strange thing beginning to take place. The people who had their names on the pews began to sit in them as though they actually belonged to them. No one said anything about it, but several of us noticed it. However, since the rest of us in the church, including myself, were busy establishing our own place, we did nothing more than notice.


As for me, I found my place in more subtle ways. On Sunday mornings the staff enteredthe sanctuary in ascending order of importance. First came the organist and pianist who took their seats at the instruments. Then the choir filed in from two special doors in the back of the choir loft and stood before the congregation. Then from the right front corner arrived the ministerial procession. First came the educational director, next the minister of music, followed by the associate pastor and then me. All of us had our place.


One Sunday morning we went through our little ritual (it was something like firing the cannon at dawn) and I arrived on the platform and stood as usual, looking over the congregation. The auditorium was comfortably filled (which according to Charles Allen, means everyone had room to lie down). But when I glanced to my left, I noticed something strange.

The regular seating place for the professor, his wife, and the three old maid sisters was four rows back in one of the five seater pews (one with the professor’s name on it of course). The professor, was actually a retired sixth grade teacher, but like many in the congregation, he was still vying for place. It was natural for him to cling to the title of professor.


That morning, however, not only were the professor and his wife and the three old maid sisters in the pew, but there were two other people squeezed in beside them. And I mean squeezed. The five seater pews were meant for five people and that’s all. Adding two more was next to impossible. But there they were, all crammed like vienna sausages in a can, and the odd thing was, there were a number of seats close by.

When they stood to sing, they all had to stand up at the same time. To sit down meant they all had to go down in unison, as if welded together. It wasn’t until after the service that one of the ushers told me what had happened. The two strangers had come in early, they did not know that the pew ‘belonged’ to the professor, and they sat down. When the professor and his group arrived, instead of splitting up and moving to another pew, they all crammed in there with them.


At the time I thought it was ridiculous. Now I understand. The human drive for a man to find his place is one of the strongest of all forces.

“I’ve got a friend. That makes me secure.”

“General Motors is my place. That’s where I belong.”

“I’ve joined the labour union. The Teamsters will take care of me from now on. They are my place.”

It’s built into all of us, little boys have secret clubs, little girls want to play house. College students have their sororities and fraternities to which they pledge themselves forever and ever.


God allows his children certain crutches to lean on, spiritual training wheels so to speak. We find them all the way through history, for God knows we are a weak people.

The ark of the Covenant was a crutch. The Temple in Jerusalem was a crutch. But God is constantly weaning his people away from crutches to teach them to stand alone in their place. God is not contained in buildings. He is spirit. He is your place.


Psalm 121:1-8.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

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