Fathers Day 2016
Text: Psalm 37:3-4
In our culture, “authentic manhood” has become a very relative term. And with so much confusion around, I would like to briefly explore what real biblical manhood looks like. First, let’s talk about “The Real Thing” (Coke illustration). When it comes to “The Real Thing” regarding manhood, the Bible gives quite a bit of information and direction.
Today, I want to consider a small piece written by King David, while also considering a term that’s been culturally re-defined, “courage”; and it’s actually applicable to all of us (not just men).
David was a genuine man of courage (Goliath, various military battles, etc.) and his walk with the Lord also displayed elements of courage. Look at Psalm 37:3-4:
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.”
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
According to verse 25, David is older at this point and speaking in retrospect. He’s calling out to all who are willing to commit to building a “heritage of righteousness” and there are four things we’ll consider today:
I. Courage to Trust in the Lord (v.3)
(The enemy hates this. One of the first things he did in the temptation of Adam and Eve was to get them doubting God’s motives.) When it comes to trust, we’re to:
A. Trust the Lord’s character (Do you trust him to be faithful to you?)
B. Trust that the right thing is always the right thing (It’s never wrong to do right and never right to do wrong.)
C. Trust Him with the results from doing A & B (sometimes that’s the hardest part)
III. Courage to “Do Good” (v.3)
A. When facing intimidation
One of my favorite quotes is:
“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway”. – John Wayne
This time of the year with Memorial Day, D-Day, and Father’s Day all being close together, I think about what it means to go forward even though there may be challenges. Paul also gave us insight and in his introduction to the Armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6, he mentioned this:
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (Eph. 6:10)
It’s His Might! We may be scared but we go forward relying on His power!
B. Doing good is also carrying the treasure in “clay jars” (2 Cor. 5:7)
- The treasure (the gospel) is precious
- We’re easily broken, but carry it anyway (even when we don’t have all the answers)
III. Courage to Delight in the Lord (v.4)
A. Choose to find your contentment in Him (even when others don’t)
B. Live expecting to delight even more in the future as you grow
And lastly, “The Real Thing” includes:
IV. Courage to ask of the Lord (v.4)
When we delight in Him, we want more of Him in all areas of our life:
A. Ask for wisdom and knowledge (like Solomon asking to wisdom to lead God’s people)
B. Intervention (like Hezekiah praying for God’s intervention against the Assyrians)
C. Asking for God’s provision (like Moses in the wilderness asking for God to supply at each point of need)
As we close, consider four questions in your heart before the Lord:
- Are you willing to trust the Lord?
- Are you willing to do good even if no one else does?
- Are you willing to choose to delight in the Lord?
- Are you willing to ask of Him for what you need?
Courage…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!
“The Spirit of 46”
Text: Psalm 46:1-11
In preparation for our next series (Nehemiah), it’s good to consider some of the “building blocks” of his success. One of those is the attitude of a predecessor (King Hezekiah), who faced life-threatening challenges years earlier. Hezekiah had a singular trust in the Lord and relied on Him when the powerful, boastful king of Assyria (Sennacherib) brought a massive army to crush and annihilate Jerusalem. In response to Hezekiah’s prayer, the Lord sent an angel during the night to kill 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and deliver the city. Psalm 46 is considered a victory song connected to that moment. In many ways, it describes the spirit of one trusting firmly in the Lord while circumstances grow dark; it’s the “Spirit of 46”.
I. The Spirit of 46 is Trust (Psalm 46:1-3)
A. Admitting to limitations
- The language of pride is absurdity-we have very little power of our own
- Hezekiah was a contrast to Sennacherib (one wrongly took credit for everything, one rightly took credit for nothing)
B. Admitting to real challenges
- No “head-in-the-sand” pretending like everything is ok
- Understanding that consequences actually do exist
C. Choosing to reject fear
- Fear is powerful (sometimes good, sometimes bad)
- The difference is the “therefore” (v.2), it’s based on something
II. The Spirit of 46 is Gladness (v.4-7)
A. Drawing refreshment from the Most High (a river) (v.4)
B. Not anxious about God’s timing (often it’s only after the “fog of morning” clears that we see the work of His hand) (v.5)
C. Not intimidated by the nations (rages, threats, and bullying) (v.6)
III. The Spirit of 46 lets “God be God” (v.8-11)
“Be still” and embrace the reality of what He says:
A. I am God (He simply is Who He is) (v.10)
B. I will be exalted among the nations (whether they like or not) (v.10)
C. I will be exalted on the earth (whether they’re ready or not) (v.10)
Do you have the “Spirit of 46” in you:
- Is there a confident trust in Him?
- Is there a gladness from the Lord’s refreshment?
- Is there a willingness to let “God be God” in your life?
“Health & Strength for Challenging Times”
Text: Psalm 1:1-6
The word “blessed” is used in many forms. It can be used for describing one’s condition, a dinner prayer, answering a sneeze, and the occasional “Bless your heart”. In scripture, it’s also used in a variety of ways. In Psalm 1, there’s a particular use that’s encouraging to find strength in a time of great cultural shift. And it’s not just an aid to survive, it’s the picture of healthiness to thrive!
The blessed person described in this Psalm is one who has a “settled” spirit deep within them and are “supremely content”. But the important part is what they are and aren’t specifically settled on. Consider:
I. The blessed person doesn’t settle for…
A. The counsel of those who walk in a pattern of wrong doing (the ungodly) (v.1)
B. The methods of those that are comfortable with sin (sinners) (v.1)
C. Being counted among those who make light of serious spiritual matters (the mockers) (v.1)
The blessed person actively chooses not to settle for that, and also…
II. The blessed person values…
A. The teachings of God (the Law) (“delights in” v.2)
• He/she gives priority to the Word
• He/she enjoys discovering the precepts of the Word
B. Meditating on the teachings of God (the Law) (v.2)
• It’s a filling of the mind with scripture (not an Eastern emptying/clearing)
• It’s a recalling of scriptural principles (a Hebrew would literally “mutter” them)
III. The blessed person does settle for…
…a way of life that’s like a tree:
A. Planted by water to receive daily refreshment from the Lord (in a cultural desert) (v.3)
B. Producing fruit for others’ consumption and benefit (not for themselves) (v.3)
C. Being resilient when the “hot summer winds” of social pressure blow (v.3)
However, it isn’t so for those who aren’t following the Lord…
IV. The ungodly will…
A. Be forgotten, like chaff blown away by the wind (v.4)
B. Be destroyed, like chaff in the fire (v.6)
Thought: With that being the reality, why do we listen to them? Why do we often feel compelled to have their acceptance, when their path ends in destruction?
V. To be a true blessing to others, we must…
A. Not feel anxious by the changing times. The world needs the steadiness of people with a deep settled nature about them, anchored to solid biblical teaching.
B. Live authentically, not walking in hypocrisy
C. Share the truth in a spirit of love, (including the tough stuff, not just the fluff)
• Where do you find your contentment?
• Are you truly settled in your spirit on the foundation of Christ?