OceanSide church of Christ
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A MESH OF MANY
A Word of Encouragement to Our Graduates
Victor M. Eskew
A. I was 21 years old when I entered the Memphis School of Preaching.
1. Six hours of class time per day for two years.
2. Several instructors and preachers associated with the school influenced me.
a. Brothers Richard Curry, Garland Elkins, and Robert R. Taylor, Jr. with their ability to quote the biblical text
b. Brother Frank Young assisted me in making the biblical text applicable to our lives
c. Brothers Franklin Camp, Guy N. Woods, and Roy J. Hearn impressed me with their study of the holy Scriptures
d. Brother Winfred Clark was a master when it came to outlining and alliterating the Biblical text
B. Many of the character studies I have done also influenced me as a preacher.
1. The Minor Prophets were bold and unafraid to proclaim the Word of God.
2. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the apostle Paul were committed to God’s will and would die for truth.
C. In essence, as a preacher of the gospel, I am a mesh of many.
1. Alfred Lord Tennyson was right when he said: “I am part of all that I have met.”
2. Most older individuals could say the same thing.
3. Many people have entered their lives and have caused them to be who they are today.
D. This evening I want to address our young people, especially those who are graduating. I want to exhort them to become “A Mesh of Many.” This mesh needs to include some of the Bible greats. Let’s look at some in this lesson.
I. MARY: SAT AT JESUS’ FEET
A. There are numerous Mary’s in the Bible. The Mary we are considering was the sister of Martha and Lazarus. She was also a very close friend of Jesus.
B. In Luke 10:38, Jesus entered the home of Martha as a guest. Luke 10:39 tells us about Mary’s actions that day.
And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his words.
1. Mary’s heart longed for the words of the Master.
2. Mary’s ears were close to Jesus and paid close attention to His message.
C. We live in a day when
1. People are not interested in the words of Jesus.
2. People are too busy to sit at the Master’s feet.
D. We need young people who will follow Mary’s example and crave the truth of the gospel of Christ.
1. Make time to study the Bible daily.
2. Be faithful in your attendance of the worship services.
3. Take additional classes that will increase your Bible knowledge.
II. HANNAH: SOUGHT GOD IN FERVENT PRAYER
A. Hannah was one of the wives of an Israelite named Elkanah.
1. She was childless.
2. She also suffered the reproach of Peninah, Elkanah’s other wife.
B. Hannah could have responded to her situation in many ways.
1. She could have blamed God and quit being faithful to Him.
2. She could have retaliated against Peninah with anger, hate, and revenge.
3. She could have run from her position out of shame and disgrace.
C. Her solution, however, was much more positive in nature. She prayed (I Sam. 1:9a, 10).
So Hannah rose after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk…And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.
1. Prayer was her answer.
2. She took affliction to the throne of God and asked for a “man child” (I Sam. 1:11).
3. She prayed fervently, pointedly, and with great faith.
D. Young people, we encourage you to become men and women of prayer.
1. Pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17).
2. Pray in faith, nothing wavering (James 1:6-8).
3. Pray earnestly (James 5:16).
4. Pray in the good times and in the bad times.
III. VASHTI: STOOD FOR MODESTY
A. Vashti held the position of queen in the Medo-Persian Empire.
B. Her husband was a kinG who rejoiced in his military conquests. These victories were celebrated by long periods of feasting.
C. One feast became a challenge for Vashti.
1. Her husband and the men drank profusely.
2. On the seventh day, the king ordered Vashti to be brought before the people and the princes.
3. Esther 1:11 tells us why.
To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to show the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.
D. Vashti’s response was one of great virtue (Esther 1:12).
But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains…
1. Vashti maintained her moral purity.
2. She refused to display her beauty before a drunken group of men.
3. Vashti was a woman of great modesty.
E. The Bible still teaches us to be modest. Undue attention called to ourselves in any way is sinful (I Tim. 2:9-10).
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
IV. ESTHER: SUMMONED GREAT COURAGE
A. Vashti was deposed because of her actions. Esther, a Jewish maiden, was chosen to take her position as queen.
B. During Esther’s reign, an evil enemy plotted the destruction of the Jews.
1. The enemy was a man named Haman, a man who was second to the king.
2. Esther needed to approach the king about this matter, but it had been thirty days since the king had asked for her.
3. If the king refused her approach, she could be put to death.
C. With the encouragement of her uncle, Mordecai, and with the prayers of Israel before the throne of God, Esther moved forward. Her words to her uncle exhibit her courage (Esther 4:16).
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
D. We need more leaders like Esther. We need leaders with courage to make right decisions, even when there is a threat of harm to themselves (I Tim. 1:7).
For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
V. PHEBE: SERVED THE CHURCH
A. Phebe is mentioned only briefly in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome (Rom. 16:1-2).
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever bus-iness she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
1. She was a sister in Christ.
2. She was a servant of the church.
3. She was a succourer (helper) of Christians.
B. We need more servants in the body of Christ. Young people need to seek out opportunities to serve others.
C. When you do, you become like Phebe and like Jesus Christ (Matt. 20:26-28).
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
A. We have seen five Bible women who were exemplary in their actions. Our purpose in studying them is to encourage our youth, especially our graduates to become a mesh of all these positive examples.
1. Mary: sat at Jesus’ feet
2. Hannah: sought God in prayer
3. Vashti: stood for modesty
4. Esther: summoned great courage
5. Phebe: served the church
B. We will close with one final example. We do not know his woman’s name. She is described in II Kings 5:2.
And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
1. Naaman was the captain of the host of Syria. He was also a leper.
2. This little maid did something revolutionary in the life of Naaman. She spoke to him of a prophet who could heal him of his leprosy (II Kings 5:3).
And she said unto her mistress, would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.
C. Men today are not sick with leprosy, but with sin. There is a prophet of God, Jesus Christ, who has the ability to recover them from their sins (Acts 3:22-23; I Pet. 2:24).
D. We need young people who will point others to this Prophet who can cleanse them of their sins.