|Bishop Eddie Long | Transcript of 8 A.m. Sermon
September 26, 2010
This is a transcript of Bishop Eddie Long's 8 a.m. sermon at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia on Sunday.
Good morning New Birth. And good morning to all our other guests.
And I would be remiss not to say good morning to the world.
You all may be seated in the presence of the Lord.
I do want to remind folk that we're here at 8 every Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning.
And I'll be here next week.
First of all, let me thank you on behalf on my wife, my family, for all of your support, your prayers. We are certainly humbled by such a loving congregation. I realize that many have been waiting on me to say something. I have to do ... (long applause)
My first responsibility is to my family. My next responsibility is not to address the world before I address my family, New Birth.
Because I'm pastor, I want to talk to you for a moment, and make a statement and we'll be gone.
This is an extremely difficult time for me, an extremely difficult time for my family. It's an extremely difficult time for you, because many who've called you and asked you questions and all of these kind of things. You ain't never got this many phone calls in your life. It's a time when you actually see the veil dropped and who's with you and who's not with you.
So, as a pastor, I want to help everybody. The first thing, I just want to talk to you for about 10 or 15 minutes. I want to thank all the pastors who left their churches, all my sons, daughters. It wouldn't be right without the preachers here. All my sons and daughters, pastors here, Bishop Murphy, Pastor Landers, Pastor William Murphy, I can go on and on and on out here ... Pastor Davis and all, but I want to help all of us this morning and if I can do that and say these things and then we'll move.
This is difficult, difficult for everybody. This is probably the most difficult time in my entire life. And so I thought the first thing I might just say for everybody is I want to just talk to you for a moment about how to handle painful and difficult situations. How to handle painful and difficult situations.
And I start with scripture from Psalms 34:19. Y'all did know I was gon' use my Bible today. Of all days. I just wanna take just a few moments. And then I'll say what the rest of you came to hear.
But I gotta talk to my family. Psalms 34:19 says many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of all of them.
Our purpose today is twofold, is to minister to those who are present, and to strengthen the New Birth family.
Above all this church, the church of the living God, and all that is precious and holy in this wonderful moment. And I want you to focus on what the spirit of God has to speak to us, not to focus on Eddie Long. There's a simple emphasis that I would like to use to minister and was given direction to our church and family in this time of ... because you got to understand the reality of painful situations. You got to understand the response to painful situations, and then we have to know what the remedy is for painful situations.
The reality of a painful situation, I would refer to Isiah 43:2, just write it down, it says, when you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. And when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flames scorch you. Unfortunately, my brothers and my sisters, life is filled with painful situations that makes the time of joy and happiness not as magnificent as we would like.
As long as man has to deal in life, you will find that life will be unfair, the rain's on the just and the unjust. And we are all subject to face distasteful and painful situations.
Bishop Long -- Eddie Long -- and you can put your name in that blank, will have some bad situations. The righteous face painful situations with a determined expectancy. We are not exempt from pain, but He promises to deliver us out of our pain.
Solutions or situations of destruction, pain caused by floods, pain caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, Katrina, those that had to be relocated, lost things in a day, the stress, the challenge of painful situations.
Some in here, situation of disease and sickness, have been to the doctor, got reports that wasn't favorable, that's why we do our confessions in this the ending of that 21 days to bring you into wholeness. Painful situations. Situations of disappointment, many have been disapointed. Hopelessness and unmet expectations; situations of death, there's parents in here who've lost children and people who were suddenly taken away in car accidents or unexpected things. Situations of deception, when one has been betrayed by those that they love; situations of divorce when love turns into resentment; situations, and the greatest pain of life is to love somebody that doesn't love you back.
Without a doubt there are painful situations in life that are inescapable. Protections from painful situations are absolutely impossible. Trust me, I tried to find them. Preparation is the most important, but the response to painful situations is, also. Matthew 6:33 says seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things will be added unto you.
We cannot always control and avoid painful situations, but we can control our response to them. We must decide in the midst of all that occurs, that we will maintain our righteous focus and spiritual witness. Some possible responses as I close and move.
You can curse it, and allow the situation to make you bitter.
You can nurse it and allow the situation to make you a blamer.
You can rehearse it and allow the situation to be relived and make you a worse person because you continue to go over it and over it and live in that pain.
Or you can reverse it, and allow the situation, response, to cause you to be better.
We will not allow the present pain to cause us to abandon our righteous commitment and stand.
Someway and somehow we will become better and we will walk through this painful situation.
The remedy for a painful situation is described by David in the best way that I know how to make it through rough times. Yea though I walk through the valleys and the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You art with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. David, the writer, gives us an insight of how to make it through a painful time. Because he seems to be focused on something higher than the pain. We can make it through these times if we stay focused on the spiritual things that have brought us thus far. And we can make it through by the focus on power.
So I just took the power and took the first letters of that word and this, New Birth, is our focus.
No. 1 is the P for the power of prayer. We must be committed and stay committed to prayer. Not just for me and not just for my family, but also for everyone concerned in these allegations and all that is going on. We must stay prayerful for the nations and prayerful for our president. We have a wonderful opportunity and it is election time in Georgia. It's very important. We cannot be distracted and not go to the polls because we're trying to chase folk down. Early voting is now. You can go and vote. Because Jesus teaches us that even we have to love our enemies and pray for them, too.
The next letter is O for outreach. We cannot allow these things to distract us from our mission to seek and to save the lost. We are going after the lost. And some of you who think I'm lost ... and your need to see God, there'll be an opportunity to come down to the altar. We must continue to minister to those who are lost.
The W is for worship. We must focus on the power of worship. New Birth, we have some powerful worship here and we ain't gon' stop having it. There's been healing going forth, deliverance going forth. All kind of things that happen in the power of worship. And you just need to focus yourself and look back on the wonderful dimensions of worship that God is continuing to take us in.
The E is for encouragement. We must be there to encourage one another. The Bible says David had to encourage himself. He had to do that because he was alone. We are not alone. There's a whole lot of folk up in here, up in here, up in here. And there's a whole lot of people that we can use to encourage one another.
And finally the R is for resolve. We must not forget that our strength is not in man, but in the Lord. We have come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. We have a reliance on the holy spirit. And the scripture teaches us that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk....
There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television. That's not me. That is not me.
By the counsel of my lawyers, they have advised me not to try this case in the media. I am not gon' try this case in the media. It will be tried in the court of justice and dealt with in the court of justice and please understand because that's the only place I think I'll get justice, but being in the hands of God.
Please hear this. Please hear this: I've been accused. I'm under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man. But this thing I'm gon' fight.
And I want you to to know one other thing. I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet.
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