Month: September 2015
In this message, Pastor Steve looks at the element of faith in the study of origins. He asks several questions of creationists and evolutionists leading us to a theological and a scientific reason to accept God as Creator. This message is not an attack on evolution but seeks a reasoned faith for creation.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord.
This Psalm, 104, tells of God’s creative and sustaining powers. It goes into great detail of all that God has done to bring the earth to pass, to fill it, to water it, to feed it and to give it life. Take time to read these 32 verses telling of the might and power of God Almighty.
Because of God’s creative and sustaining power, He is worthy of something great; that is, He is worthy of our songs of praise. We sing praises of men and women, of love and sorrow, of countries and peoples, and of life and of death. Should we not sing greater praise to the God who is all wise, all powerful, and all caring? If God were just a master tinker who wound up His creation and let it go, that would be amazing. But God is so much more than that. In this Psalm it tells that he gives life and breath and even takes it away in His time. Our God is both creator and sustainer.
With all that this Psalm describes, we could take our entire lives to meditate on Him with sweet meditation. When we look through the magnifying glass of the scriptures at all that is around us; we see God in everything that lives and breathes and moves. We see Him in everything beautiful and everything that frightens us. God has made it all. Meditate on it all with Him in mind. This meditation is sweet to Him! Think about that for a moment; when we meditate on God through His creative and sustaining works, that meditation is sweet to Him.
The end of all of this is our gladness. Human thoughts can bring confusion, not clarity. Biblical thoughts about God bring gladness and joy and songs of praise. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
The Pray Naperville movement is hosting a pastor’s prayer meeting this morning. I am looking forward to this event as an opportunity to pray with other pastors in our community for God to open hearts and lives to His saving grace. I will let you know how this goes.
Tonight is our prayer time and Bible study. We have Kids4Truth and youth group as well. Do what you can to join us at least for our prayer time. We read last Sunday that when we pray Satan is put on notice for we are attacking his kingdom when we pray. Join us in this attack.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Many of the Psalms show the action of God. We see Him saving, empowering, protecting, enabling, choosing, defeating enemies and more. I love to look for the actions of God the Psalms. But this Psalm defines our actions because of God’s actions. When we see the mighty works of God in our world and in our lives our reaction should be joyful noise, glad service, singing in His presence, thanksgiving in His courts, thankfulness to Him, and blessing to His name.
In the New Testament, we might call these actions “spiritual fruit.” When God has saved us by taking our sin away and giving us the righteousness of Jesus, we respond with all of these reactions toward Him. Those who have not enjoyed the actions of God in their lives do not have spiritual reactions. Their religious actions are to gain favor not to rejoice in favor. But for those of us who have been blessed with God’s redeeming grace these actions should flow from us.
Do have these natural reactions toward our Lord and Savior in your life? Do you focus on the works of God and react with praise and service and thanksgiving?
The last verse tells us again just why we sing and shout and serve with abandon: “The Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations.” Take time today reacting to God’s work in the world and in your life.
We had a joyous time in our family the last two nights. Caleb and Lindsey spent two days with us, Steven and Rachel came in both days and Ben and Anna were here also. Last night my parents joined the circus and we had a wonderful time together.
This morning we have service at Sunrise Assisted Living at 10:30. Your prayers for that service are always needed.
Sunday’s message will be on the website soon. Parts 1 and 2 are already on the website. I do hope you will avail yourselves to these resources on the Bible’s view of creation.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
As I read this Psalm I do not think of people in church but people at a ball game. The Psalmist speaks of singing, of shouting joyfully, of thanksgiving, of more shouting joyfully, of worship and bowing down, and of kneeling. For most of us, church has become a place of closed mouths and moderate or quiet singing. (The loudness of the singing tends to diminish as one gets closer to the back of the church.) When I have been to hockey games, the crowd is shouting all the way to the back row in the top section. (That is usually where we sit.)
The point here is that we loudly shout for that which we worship. In fact, worship with abandon is normal and generally demonstrates where our heart is set at that moment. The Psalmist here says that we are to worship the Lord with abandon!
In this Psalm we are also told why we worship with abandon. God is the Rock of our salvation. God is the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth and the highest hills. The sea belongs to Him for He made it and all that is in it. His hands also formed the dry land. He is our God and we are His sheep of His pasture, which He has made.
I am loving this creation study for over and over I see that when the Bible speaks of God the creator of all it then speaks of our worship of Him or of His desire for our salvation. I can pray to God knowing that He can answer my prayer because He made everything I see. The Bible does not prove God as creator just so we can be creationists. God wants us to see Him as creator so we will be able to trust Him with all of our prayers, our eternal salvation and give Him loud worship.
It is Friday. The week has flown by. Last night I went with Dave to a meeting in Naperville of parents whose children are heroin addicts. The group splits and the parents go in one room while their children, most of them are late teens into their twenties, go in another room. Dave had amazing opportunities to present Christ to the room with those struggling with heroin addiction. I had opportunity to participate in the room with the parents. What a grieving group that is! They are looking for answers and gather to help each other the best they know how. There was a funeral last night for a girl who overdosed this week. It was a sobering time as many of the parents knew the girl. (There were over 30 parents and siblings of heroin addicts in this room.) Pray for opened doors into these hurting people’s lives.
Remember to pray for Pastor Bill and his community services today.
Pray for RU tonight that some of those Dave met last night would come and discuss their issues with Christianity with him.
Sunday I will be bringing part 3 in the series on Creation from the rest of the Bible. This Sunday we will be looking at Isaiah 45 and the need for faith. I do hope you are able to take this series home to your dinner table and talk together about creation.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
18 If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
In the struggles of the Psalmists we understand our lives. Often these men did not know what to do nor how to respond to their enemies. Each of us has had enemies we did not understand. What did we do to turn them against us? Why were they so hateful toward us? What could we do to protect ourselves? In this Psalm we see that in the face of our enemies, those who work iniquity against us, who attack our character and who malign our name, God is going to be our help. This first thought is the first thought we too must have. My life is under God’s protection and He is going to be my most effective help against my enemies.
When the Lord is our help we do not have to settle in the silence of defeat. No, we go forward with God on our side instead of retreating into defeated silence. Our enemies would like to run over us over and over again. Our silence encourages their aggression. When God intervenes we do not have to become their door mat but instead we stand up in God’s strength and in His love against those who attack us. We stand on God’s truth and leave the results to Him.
When our feet slip, when we are insecure in difficult situations, God’s mercy is there and holds us up. This is not an if-its-to-be-its-up-to-me attitude but an it’s-in-God’s-hands attitude. We are in God’s hand and He bears us up if we stub our foot against a stone. He has promised to carry us through for He is our Father we are His children. Just as we carried Jared through Starved Rock State Park through the rain because he needed us to do so, God carries us when we need Him to do so. It is His mercy at work.
Then, when anxiety takes over with a multitude of anxious thoughts within us, God’s comforts delight our soul and melt away the anxieties. God has every ability to protect us, to keep us from falling and to renew our minds. Turn to Him, turn away from those people and thoughts that are against you, and find His comforts delighting your soul. (Who said that this book, the Bible, is old and irrelevant? We see ourselves all the way through this 2700 year old Psalm.)
This morning was “See you at the pole.” There were 44 kids at the Waubonsie Valley High School flag pole before school singing and praying and praising the Lord. Pray for these students to band and bond together for Christ as lights in their school.
Tonight is our prayer time and Bible study. Kids4Truth and youth group also start at 7:00. Join us for this all important time of encouragement, edification, and prayer.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
3 On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
4 For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
5 O Lord, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep.
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
As we go through the Psalms we have to see that the great hymn writers of Israel knew the greatness of God. As they saw Him in His greatness they overflowed with praise of Him. Their song was in the morning and in the evening, it was with instruments, and it was with harmony. They seem to have not been able to stop praising God, Most High.
They recognized that the Lord made them glad when they observed His work. The work of His hands brought feelings of triumph. They studied God’s works and saw the depth of God’s thoughts. Do we look for God as they do? Do we see the Lord in as many places as they do? Do we see the depth of God’s thought, the brilliance of His work, the carefulness of His planning and the thoroughness of His creation? Take time to meditate upon the Most High God.
Later in the Psalm the writer looks at those who seek the Lord and who live in His righteousness. They who do so flourish. They produce fruit and they have great inner strength. The most secure people I have ever met are people who love the Lord and live their lives for Him. As they recognize who God is they find life’s strength in Him and are able to live secure in Him.
Those who plant themselves, a picture of a plant that takes root in one place, in the house of God, flourish in His courts. I know there is a difference between the Temple of Jerusalem and the local Christian church, but the principle remains the same. When we love the local church, when we plant ourselves in its purposes, when we love the people and work of the Lord, we flourish in the Lord. When people stop coming to church, they lose something. It is not healthy. When we remain planted in the house of God we understand His flourishing in our lives. Meditate on this today and seek to understand what the Psalmist is saying to us.
As I worked with a family last night, I was thankful for a church that cares for one another. They know the church cares and can’t imagine where they would be without our church. Never forget the importance of loving another and praying for one another. In times of personal crisis the care we share can carry us through.
I talked with Mark Massey yesterday. They have some boys who began Labor Day and are beginning to struggle. The honeymoon is over and the routine is hard for them in their unsubmissive state. Pray for the Lord to break their hearts and do His miracle of salvation upon them.
I will be at Sunrise this morning at 10:30 and thank you for your prayers for that service. Pastor Bill is going in for a physical this morning. Many of you were concerned for him Sunday morning. We will know more later. He feels fine. Thanks for your prayers and concern.
Did you hear Naghmeh Abedini’s testimony on Moody radio this morning? What an amazing opportunity God has given this woman. She is proclaiming Christ with boldness before world rulers. She is on a 21 day fast and God is opening unique doors for her. Pray for her and for her husband’s release.
Have a great day in the Lord,