Sunday, January 12, 2020

FINDING THE SOURCE OF LIFE

FINDING THE SOURCE OF LIFE
“It’s OK to Be a Wise Guy”, Wisdom Series, Session 2
RF, January 12, 2020

ME I like shortcuts. If there is a faster way to do something, or get somewhere, and achieve a goal, I am all for it. Sometimes though, the shortcuts don’t work. I get lost. Work doesn’t happen. Goals aren’t met. 

WE The truth is that in things that really matter, there are no short cuts. You have to do the work.

This is true in spiritual things as well. Everything we do in the spiritual realm comes from the grace of God. We have to cooperate with that grace to see God’s work accomplished.

2 Corinthians 6:1 (NKJV) We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

God wants to give us His wisdom, but the way He does it requires us to work with God. 

James 2:17 (NKJV) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

GOD Wisdom is seeing life from God’s point of me. It is applying the principles of God to every area of my life. It is the manifest voice of God that calls to me and says, “This is the way; walk ye in it!”

Job wanted wisdom. He had been through some tough stuff and the brothers who came to counsel him didn’t have much of an answer. He cries out to God for wisdom, for an answer to the suffering he was enduring. Let’s look at how he describes it.

Job 28:1-28 "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. 
2 Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 
3  Man puts an end to darkness, and searches every recess for ore in the darkness and the shadow of death. 
4 He breaks open a shaft away from people; in places forgotten by feet they hang far away from men; they swing to and fro. 
5  As for the earth, from it comes bread, but underneath it is turned up as by fire; 
6 Its stones are the source of sapphires, and it contains gold dust. 
7  That path no bird knows, nor has the falcon's eye seen it. 
8 The proud lions have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed over it. 
9 He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the roots. 
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing. 
11 He dams up the streams from trickling; what is hidden he brings forth to light. 
12 "But where can wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? 
13 Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living. 
14 The deep says, ' It is not in me'; And the sea says, ' It is not with me.' 
15 It cannot be purchased for gold, nor can silver be weighed for its price. 
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. 
17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold. 
18 No mention shall be made of coral or quartz, for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold. 
20 "From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. 
22 Destruction and Death say, 'We have heard a report about it with our ears.' 
23 God understands its way, and He knows its place. 
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens, 
25 To establish a weight for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure. 
26 When He made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt, 
27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. 
28 And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.' "

TEXT Job 28:27-28 (NKJV) Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’

PRAYER

Job declares that wisdom is found in the “fear of the Lord?” 

1.    What is “the fear of the Lord?”

Now the Bible is the best place to go to find what a phrase means.

Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV) The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. 

When I hate something, I don’t keep it around: snakes, bugs, Brussel sprouts. 

Do I keep evil around me? Do I give place to the devil? Do I keep eclairs in my refrigerator?

2.    How do I develop the “fear of the Lord?”

Deuteronomy 31:9-13 (NKJV) So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess.” 

The Word produces the “fear of the Lord” in us. There is a change in our inner man produced by the living Word of God. As we read and meditate on the Scriptures, they literally transform us from the inside out. 

YOU Let’s take some inventory. 

1.    Am I asking God for wisdom?

James 1:5 (NKJV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

2.    Am I allowing evil to remain in my life?

3.    Am I putting the Word in my life on a regular basis?

WE Wisdom is calling to us.

Proverbs 8:1-4 (NKJV) Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors: “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men.”

Will we hear the call? Will we respond and act? It is one thing to desire wisdom; it is another to pursue it. Let’s choose today to chase after wisdom!

ACTION STEPS

Proverbs 2:1-5 (NKJV) My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, 
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; 
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, 
4 If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; 
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 



Sunday, January 5, 2020

SATISFIED


SATISFIED
January 5, 2020

Prayer and Fasting 2020

Monday-Wednesday
January 6-8, 2020
Prayer Service
Wednesday at 7:00 pm

1 million to pray and fast together this year: The Roaring 20s.

Posted online on our sermon blog on January 12 and 13, 2019:

“The Skinny on Fasting”
“The Chosen Fast”

During the beginning months of this year I will be teaching from the Old Testament books of wisdom: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentation.  We are not able to cover each one in detail, but will speak some from each book, and usually not in order. This will be the “Wisdom” series and the title is “It’s OK to be a Wise Guy!” and the key verse is from Proverbs:

Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV) Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom…

ME  I sometimes struggle with New Year sermons. What is our theme for the new year? What is our Scripture for the new year? Who couldn’t pass up “2020 Vision”?  New Year Sermon Bingo...

After a while they all really sound the same, much like your new year’s resolutions.

WE This year I had a verse in my heart that I included in my new year tweets and posts:

Psalms 103:5 (NASB) Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

So, this is my prayer for all of you: “May God satisfy you with good things this year and renew your youth like an eagle.” PRAYER

So, think about those two things: satisfaction and renewal.

How does God do that? How does God bring satisfaction and renewal in my life?

GOD Let’s look at the context of this prayer.

TEXT Psalms 103:1-5 (NASB) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Let’s look at each verse…

Psalms 103:1 (NASB) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Bless: make much of…
Soul: inner man; mind, will, emotion…
All: body, soul, spirit…

Psalms 103:2 (NASB) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;

Don’t forget what God has already done and is doing. God is taking the responsibility to perform His will in your life.

Philippians 1:6 (NASB) For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:13 (NASB) for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Following is the list…

Psalms 103:3 (NASB) Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;

Pardons iniquities; pardon: word only used of God; iniquities: twisted, bent…
Healing of diseases; includes all manner of sickness and disease; also sin.

Psalms 103:4 (NASB) Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Redemption: to buy back; pit: hell, now and forever
Faithfulness: hesed, covenant loyalty; mercy, grace

Psalms 103:5 (NASB) Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Satisfaction

Satisfaction is the contentment that comes when all our needs met. It comes not from possessions and riches. I have seen many who are rich but not satisfied.

As Christians we live in a tension between two diametrically opposed ideas. The first is a holy discontent with what is not right in our lives. Acting against that is this inward peace that comes from godly contentment, knowing that God has provided everything I need for my present happiness.

Renewal

Renewal is a freshness in our soul. It carries the idea of restoration and repair, of making things the way they should be again.

YOU Where is the lack in your life? Where do you burn with a holy discontent? Not with a lust for more, but with a longing for what you know God wants to bring you?

Where do you need renewal? What is not working in your life? What is broken and in need of repair? What have you lost that needs to be restored?

This is where God wants to meet you.

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NASB) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

WE Most resolutions involve what WE need to do. I want us to determine what we need GOD to do!