The Lord’s Day 8-13-17

“I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” – Psalm 7:17 NKJV

Our singing, meditation, and worship should be focused on His righteousness; not the process or circumstances. Feelings and moods change, but the glory of The LORD Most High does not. Celebrate the Lord’s Day for He is worthy of our praise!

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Moses

Moses isn’t generally known for writing a Psalm, but he did. Psalm 90 is a record of his praise to the Lord. Have you ever thought about the years he kept sheep for Jethro after leaving Egypt the first time, and what he may have learned from it? Here was a man who grew up in the lavish privilege and extravagance in the place of Pharaoh who suddenly found himself on the edge of civilization. And the new environment had only simple provisions, shepherd responsibilities, and a breeze for music…but that’s where he saw the fire and heard the voice of God. Consider this verse from his psalm:

“Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God.” – Psalm 90:2 HCSB

How many times while leading the Hebrews through the wilderness did Moses probably stand at the door of his tent, watch the sunset, and think back to those days keeping sheep. Sometimes we simply need to do that; go out on the back deck or take a walk and contemplate God’s rich goodness toward us. Near the end of his psalm are these words:

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us…” – Psalm 90:17a NKJV

Have you considered how His beauty is displayed through your life? The many ways He’s been faithful is a testament to His lavish goodness, “…may we rejoice and be glad all our days!” (v.14b)

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Three Reminders from Elijah’s Road Trip

Elijah was a mighty Prophet of God. He witnessed spectacular, dramatic and powerful displays of God’s power. However, Elijah was “a man with a nature just like ours” (James 5:17). Even though we’re not calling fire from heaven, there are a few things we need to remember from Elijah’s life. In particular, a few things from his sudden road trip after that little incident with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.

  1. God gives us what we need. – When Elijah ran off to the wilderness (under threat from Ahab & Jezebel), he journeyed for a day and fell asleep under a tree. As he slept, an angel woke him up and gave him fresh baked bread and water. He ate, was refreshed and fell back asleep. It was a simple meal, but totally satisfying.

Reminder: Don’t expect a banquet; rejoice in God’s provision for the moment.

  1. God gives us what we need for the next step. – While Elijah slept, the angel woke him again, gave him instructions to eat one more time, “and he went in the strength of that food for 40 days”. The 40 day journey was of the Lord’s leading, and the angel said “it was too great” for Elijah so an extra boost was needed (1 Kings 19:7).

Reminder: God provides for the next step according to His lead; not ours.

  1. God gives us what we need to correct our course. – When Elijah got to Horeb, he took shelter in a cave; but God called him out of the cave to ask why he was there. Elijah described how he was the only faithful person left in Israel. And God responded with an incredible rock-splitting wind, a powerful ground-shaking earthquake, and an earth-scorching fire. However, God wasn’t in any of them. He revealed Himself afterwards in a “still small voice”; describing 7,000 more Hebrews who remained faithful and Elijah’s next steps as Prophet (1 Kings 19:11-18).

Reminder: The voice of God is often a quiet contrast to our natural assumptions.

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Sermon Notes Updated-“David: A Life Unfiltered” Series

Just FYI, each week, my sermon notes are posted on this blog in an abbreviated outline format. Follow this link if you’re interested. Older ones are in the archive links too.

Thanks!

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On Fearing Failure

Have you ever been afraid to speak about the Bible or take a step of faith, for fear of getting it wrong?

For example, you know someone who could use encouragement or loving admonishment, but intimidation crowds out the confidence. Are you worried you’ll not have the “right words” or worse, no answer at all? Perhaps you feel led to take a “life-step” in faith, but fear has your feet frozen. If so, take heart; you’re not the only one who struggles sometimes on the spiritual battlefield. Most believers would have to admit feeling that way at times, but consider this; Romans 8:37 says;

“…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”.

Pause for a moment and ponder that. You’re a super-victor by way of the strong, battle-proven arm of someone who loves you. He’s not looking for an excuse to abandon you on the field of conflict. As a matter of fact, He’s the One cheering you on among the smoke and chaos. Look in His direction today, realize His faithfulness and draw strength from His power. And if you don’t have the answers; just be honest, say you don’t, then point to the One who does.

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Wisdom 1.20

A person of wisdom may seem like someone who’s discovered the “secrets” of life, but in truth, they’re the ones who’ve noticed obvious things around themselves. Here’s how Solomon describes the visibility of wisdom:

“Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares.” – Proverbs 1:20 NKJV

In ancient times, the city square represented the heartbeat of a local culture. It was the gathering place for all things social and economic. Solomon used that word-picture and basically said, “Look around! Observe the lives of those who have chosen a path contrary to God’s truth and learn from it.”

Years later, a famous quote would echo that word-picture:

There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” – John Heywood (16th century British writer)

Are you looking around today? Really looking? What are you seeing? And what are you learning?

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If

What if you found an old letter describing a location in your yard where money was buried? Would you attempt to find it? Of course, most people would, but finding cash among your roses isn’t likely. However, the Bible’s promise of treasure is more certain. Consider Solomon’s instructions:

“My son, if you… receive my words…treasure my commands…apply your heart to understanding…cry out for discernment, and seek [wisdom]…then you’ll understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5

Gaining understanding and knowledge from the Lord isn’t a one-time, high-speed download, it’s an active process of listening, pondering, applying, asking, and seeking (7-12). He then goes on to say that incorporating the knowledge of the Lord will protect, preserve, keep, deliver, and lead the learner to walk in the way of goodness (2:20).

The journey of a disciple should be filled with conversation. We’re made for dialogue and when it comes to our spiritual development, the scripture prompts us to think, pray, ask, listen and dig deeper…searching for precious treasure.

What are you pondering today? What are you seeking? Have you mentioned it to the Lord…and are you listening for His reply?

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