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NEEDED:  TRAILBLAZERS

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    In every generation and in every organization

1.      There is another river that needs to be crossed.

2.      There is another mountain to be climbed.

3.      There is another wilderness that needs to be mapped.

4.      There is another cave to be explored.

5.      There is another discovery that needs to be made.

 

B.      Who are the ones who will do these things?  They are called trailblazers.

1.      A trailblazer is a leader.

2.      A trailblazer is one who sees a challenge and moves forward.

3.      A trailblazer is one who recognizes problems and difficulties and feels compelled to find solutions to them.

 

C.     The title of our lesson this morning is:  “NEEDED:  TRAILBLAZERS.”

 

I.                   TRAILBLAZERS OF THE PAST

 

A.    Abraham was a trailblazer of faith.

1.      In Romans 4:11, he is referred to as “the father of all them that believe.”

2.      His faith was tested in so many ways.

a.      He was told to leave his homeland (Gen. 12:1-3).

b.      He was promised a son in his old age (Gen. 15:4-6).

c.       He implemented the covenant of circumcision (Gen. 17:9-10; 23-27).

d.      He was commanded to offer Isaac as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah (Gen. 22:1-2).

3.      Summary verse (Rom. 4:20)

 

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.

 

B.      Josiah was a trailblazer in restoration.

1.      It was in the days of Josiah’s reign that the book of the law was found in the temple (II Kings 22:8).

2.      When the law was read to the king, he rent his clothes (II Kings 22:11), and asked the priest to make inquiry of the Lord on behalf of Israel (II Kings 22:13).

3.      Josiah’s reforms are found in II Kings 23

4.      Summary verse (II Kings 23:25)

 

And like him there was no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to the law of Moses, neither after him arose there any like him.

 

C.     Nehemiah was a trailblazer in restoration also.

1.      He received news about the condition of the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem while he as the cupbearer in Persia (Neh. 1:3).

2.      Nehemiah made plans to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls and restore the city gates (Neh. 2:5).

3.      Nehemiah was very successful (Neh. 6:15).

 

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

 

D.    Others:

1.      John the Baptist was the trailblazer for the Christ (Matt. 3:3).

2.      Jesus was the trailblazer of salvation for mankind (Heb. 2:10).

a.      In this verse, Jesus is called “the captain of our salvation.”

b.      Definition:

1)      Strong (747):  a chief leader

2)      Thayer:  the chief leader, one that takes the lead in anything, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer

3)      Vine:  provides the first occasion of, anything

3.      Paul was a trailblazer in establishing the church among the Gentile world (I Cor. 3:10).

 

II.                QUALITIES OF A TRAILBLAZER

 

A.    A trailblazer is a risk-taker.

1.      Risk is “the exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard.”

2.      Pushing forward involves:

a.      The risk of money

b.      The risk of criticism

c.       The risk of reputation

d.      The risk of pain and suffering

e.       The risk of life or the lives of others.

3.      When Moses was called to be a trailblazer, he understood the risks (Exo. 4:1).

 

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice:  for they will say, the Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

 

4.      Trailblazers do not let the risks deter them.

 

B.      A trailblazer manifests courage.

1.      Why the need for courage?

a.      He is going where others have not, or, will not go.

b.      He understands the great risks involved in what he is doing.

2.      He does not cower in fear.  He marches forward.

3.      David was a trailblazer in the battle against Goliath (I Sam. 17:32).

 

And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight this Philistine.

 

C.     A trailblazer is not discouraged by others.

1.      Almost every trailblazer in Scripture had his detractors.

a.      Moses

b.      Nehemiah

c.       Jesus

d.      Paul

2.      Ezekiel 3:8-9

 

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.  As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead:  fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

D.    A trailblazer is one who is willing to suffer hardships.

1.      The trailblazer knows there will be challenges and difficulties along the way.

2.      When Jesus sent His disciples out as trailblazers on the Limited Commission, He told them of the difficulties they would face.

a.      Matthew 10:16

 

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves…

 

b.      Matthew 10:22

 

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

 

E.      A trailblazer is one who is willing to die if necessary (Acts 20:24).

 

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

 

F.      The trailblazer is one who can see a better future.

1.      Abraham could see the coming Messiah to bless the world (John 8:56).

2.      Nehemiah could see a strong, fortified, thriving city of Jerusalem.

3.      David could see the subjugation of the Philistines to Israel.

4.      Jesus saw the joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2).

5.      Paul could see the saints standing holy and unblameable and victorious at the Judgment (I Thess. 2:19-20).

 

III.             NEEDED:  TRAILBLAZERS

 

A.    Trailblazers of faith (Jer. 17:7)

 

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, whose hope the Lord is.

 

B.      Trailblazers of moral purity (Matt. 5:8)

 

Blessed are the pure in heart:  for they shall see God.

 

C.     Trailblazers in evangelism (Mark 16:15)

 

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 

D.    Trailblazers among youth (Eccl. 12:1)

 

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.

 

E.      Many other areas:

1.      Trailblazers of preaching (II Tim. 4:2)

2.      Trailblazers of shepherding (Acts 20:28)

3.      Trailblazers of worship (John 4:24)

4.      Trailblazers of Bible study (II Tim. 2:15)

5.      Trailblazers of teaching (Rom. 12:7)

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    One of the sad things about trailblazers is that they are quickly forgotten.

 

B.      May God help us to keep the trailblazers of Scriptures alive.  And, may we follow their examples and become trailblazers in our generation.

 

C.     God will reward the trailblazer!