Glory To God

Scripture: Psalms 143, NLT

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD ; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. 
2 Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. 
3 My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave. 
4 I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. 
5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. 
6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude 
7 Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. 
8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. 
9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD ; I run to you to hide me. 
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. 
11 For the glory of your name, O LORD, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. 
12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Introduction

This is a Psalm of David, written while he was hiding from Saul in either the cave at Adullam or the one at En Gedi. David is being forced to live like a fugitive, like a criminal who has broken the law. He is in a dark place. He feels lonely, depressed and at times paralyzed with fear. Our of the darkness of this experience, he writes this beautiful Psalm that has blessed millions. I am absolutely amazed at the incredible things God did through this flawed man. What a Psalm!
Transition
We have divided the Psalm into four sections:

I. DAVID’S CONFESSION

[v.1-2] Hear my prayer, O LORD ; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. 
  • This is the seventh and last of the penitential psalms [6,32,38,51,102,130]
  • David’s confession here is brief [v.2] Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. It is an acknowledgement that David, like all men, has fallen short of the glory of God. David was a sinner and he knew it.
  • The GOOD NEWS is that God loves sinners and He uses them. Elisebeth Elliot says, “Who else does he have, since all are sinners.”
  • Secondly, David confesses the basis of his faith, of his relationship with God. David prayed, “Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.” The priviledge of prayer come via the righteousness of Christ. Paul said in Epheisans 2… But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ… 
    For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 
    • Prayer is based on the righteousness of Christ
    • Salavation is based on the righteousness of Christ

II. DAVID’S CIRCUMSTANCES

David’s circumstances were not ideal to say the least. He is was living in a dark musty damp cave.

 My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.  I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. 
I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. 
  • David was in a fix due to Saul’s anger and hatred: David was innocent. He had not done anything deserving of death.
  • David had been knocked down to the ground: Saul had taken his rank and his riches. David had nothing. 
  • Saul forced David to live this way: this is not a choice for David. If David does not hide from Saul, he will be killed.
  • God uses difficult situation and people to hone and polish us. God uses people. He has always used people: [1] Imperfect people [2] Hateful people [Saul] [3] Crazy people [Saul] and obedient people.
  • One way are the other, God is going to use you for His glory but it is best for you to be obedient. God will get glory either way but you will benefit more by being obedient. Your happiness is directly linked to your obedience.

III. DAVID’S CRY

6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. 
7 Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. 
  • Desperate circumstances call for desperate prayer. David is crying out to God like a dry thirsty land cries out for rain.
  • David feels like he is in a life threatening situation. If God does not come through for David, he is history.
  • David is depressed and he feels that his depression is getting worse: he cries out for help and hope.
  • All of God’s servants get depressed from time to time. Job, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah and even John the Baptist all got depressed. The only people who do not get depressed are those who never do anything. We have an entire population of professing believers who have never fired a shot. Like Saul, they are hiding among the baggage. They are passive, do-nothing Christians who live in the saftey of their comfort zone. There is not much danger of getting wounded when you stay in retreat mode.

IV. DAVID’S CONCLUSION

8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. 
9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD ; I run to you to hide me. 
  • The thing that kept David going was God’s grace, His unconditional love. God’s love is based on His character, who He is not what we are or what we have done. God’s love is 100% Grace.
Advertisements

The Good Samaritan

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37, NIV

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 
27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 
31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 
33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 
35 The next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

INTRODUCTION

Everyone loves stories and Jesus was the master at story telling. Luke records at least four stories that are not found in the other gospels: The Good Samaritan, the Rich Fool, The Prodigal Son and the Rich Man and Lazarus. The Story of the Prodigal is the most renown in all the world and the story of the Good Samaritan is not far behind. Everyone knows what it means to be a good Samaritan. There are hospitals name GOOD SAMARITAN. Franklin Graham relief organization is the SAMARITAN PURSE.


This is a simple story with a simple meaning. Origen, the Catholic scholar, interpreted it as an alegory but it is not an alegory. It is a simple story that even a lost man can understand. Jesus told it for the benefit of a Jewish Lawyer who was lost in religion. This story is a favorite for the left because they think Jesus was advocating socialism and the distribution of wealth but nothing could be further from the truth.


A very simple way to understand the story is to see the four groups or four kinds of people involved:

  1. There is the man who fell among robbers–he is the victim
  2. There are the robbers or thieves–they represent the villians
  3. There are the religious leaders, priest and Levite–the apathetic
  4. There is the Good Samaritan–the compassionate

The story center around the victim, the man beaten and left to die and how the other three respond. In their response, we see three philosophies of life.

I. THE ROBBERS–WHAT YOURS IS MINE AND I AM GOING TO TAKE IT

In spite of what our friends say on the left, there is evil in this world and there are vicious people out there who will do you bodily harm. One liberal said, “The problem here is not the crime, it is the deeper social ills behind the crime. We must uncover and dig out the roots of social injustice that made these men steal. There is a Greek word for this thinking…Balogna. These men were not stealing in order to feed their starving families and I can prove it. Look at verse 30… A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A man is singular, robbers or thieves is plural. There was more than one robber. Thieves and robbers have always run in packs so they over powered this man. Had robbery been their only motive, they would have tied him up and left him but not only did they strip him, they beat him and left him to die.


Folks, I don’t care what the liberals say, there are mean, evil and violent people in our world and they will hurt you for their own sick pleasure. Are we so niave to think that criminals are concerned about hurting others. First of all, being robbed is painful but being beaten half to death is worse.


A liberal was debating Dr. Jerry Falwell on national TV. He told Dr. Falwell there was no such thing as evil and that men are not depraved. Dr. Falwell asked him, “Do you have locks on your doors at home?” The lib said, “Yes, of course I do.” Dr. Falwell said, “Then you must believe in evil, why else would you lock your door.”

II. THE PREIST AND LEVITE–WHAT MINE IS MINE AND I AM GOING TO KEEP IT

Sad to say, both of these men were church men and probably on their way to the temple. Priest were the religious leaders of the day, the descendants of Aaron. They were your teachers and worship leaders. The Levites were the temple care takers. Both were involved in the activities of the church. Both should have been concerned about the hurting man but both passed by indifferently. The priest barely slowed his pace. The Levite did go closer for a better look but he too, hurried off to church.


There is an old adage–put a mouse in front of a cat and you will find out if you’ve got a cat. Put a hurting person in front of a Christian and you will find out if you have a Christian. As Christians, we are supposed to care.


I want you to picture the victim as he lies beside the road in his own blood. He may be semi-conscience but he is dying. The beating and the lose of blood have taken its toll. Without intervention, he will die. What if his eyes were open, like when they do a root canal: you can see and hear but can’t move. What if he saw the priest out of the corner of his eye or the Levite. He was bound to think…help is coming but they looked and passed on by.


Have you ever had your heart broken? Perhaps you suffered through a painful divorce. Maybe you were the rejected one. When the people who are supposed to love us and care for us don’t care, it hurts. 


Hurting people want help but they don’t want to be exposed. The man was laying there naked; they had taken his clothes. He was lying in his blood and shame. He wanted help but he did not want to become a spectule or a side show. Let me tell you what can hurt worse than the clubs of the robbers, the indifference of those who are supposed to care.

III. THE GOOD SAMARITAN–WHAT IS MINE IS YOURS AND I AM GOING TO SHARE IT

Folks, the key to abundant living is good stewardship. Paul told the Ephesians in 4:28,  He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who is in need. Jesus said in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Let me give you the JEV…Life is a lot more fun when you are on the giving end rather than the recieving end. I had much rather be Santa as the kid.


Ministry always involves a sharing of resources and the Good Samaritan was lavish in his ministry. He used his time, his energy, his resources [oil, wine, animal] and his money to help this hurting man. He has no concern for the cost or for being reimbursed for his expenses.


If you go back up to verse 2 in this chapter, Jesus says, “The harvest is truely great but the laborers are few.” The harvest is great, it is just not the harvest we envision. We are looking for folks who are hungry for the gospel and want to be saved: these folks are hard to find but there is a harvest…the fields are littered with hurting people. They are everywhere. Hardy a days goes by that I don’t encounter a hurting person.


The time to express the love of Christ for our friends and relatives is when they are down. This man was lying there helpless–he was open to someone lending a hand.

CONCLUSION

A junior high students approached his teacher in the hall way with a problem, as he was telling the teacher his problem: the teacher pulled a quarter from his pocket and said to the kid, “Here is a quarter, go call someone who cares.” All the other kids laughed but the kid needing help just ducked his head and walked away. I am sorry to say, that I witnessed this event and did nothing about it. I already had a bad reputation for meddling in school affairs and I kept silent.

I’m not picking on school teachers, there are preachers who don’t care. Of course we preachers and teachers are held to a higher standard, we are supposed to care. Every believer and follower of Christ is supposed to care.

The Rich Fool

Scripture Text: Luke 12:13-21

13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 
14Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 
15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” 
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 
17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 
18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 
19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” 

INTRODUCTION

Luke 12 begins with Jesus teaching the multitudes. The crowd has grown into thousands, so much so, that they are stepping on one another. Worse than an Alanta Braves game on the 4th of July. Jesus is teaching on the integrity, judgment, stewardship, profession of faith and persecution when suddenly, from the crowd, He is rudely interupted by a man who is unhappy with the way his families inheritance has been settled.


This man wanted to make Jesus an arbitrator of the will, a judge to decide a fair settlement. Immediately Jesus senses the man’s greed and he tells the story of the rich fool to illustrate how foolish it is for us to put too much stock into earthly treasures.


We refer to this story as the Parable of the Rich Fool because it was God who called him a fool [v.20] and God knows a fool when He sees one. We can fool some of the people some of the time but we can never fool God. No one ever fooled Jesus because He could see our hearts.

There are at least THREE REASONS God called this man a fool…

I. FIRST OF ALL: HE THOUGHT LIKE A FOOL

Jesus enables us to get into his mind: He allows us to see the man’s thoughts. This is something that is normally hidden from us. Look at what the man thinks about and better still, what he does not think about.

Look again at verses…17-19

He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 
  • This man is what we would call an ego maniac…He thinks of no one other than himself. 
  • Today we call this egotism a sickness…Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Notice also what he does not think about…
    • God
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Children or grandchildren

No wonder God labeled him a fool…

II. HE LIVED LIKE A FOOL [just look at his plans]

  • Solomon said–Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth. [Proverbs 27:1]
  • Jesus said–So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. [Matt. 6:34]
  • James said–How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like a vapor—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.  What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”  Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil

Any man is a fool who leaves God out of his plans.

Now, consider this fools plan–‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 

  • What motivates this plan is his greed: He wants to get on he can, can all he gets and then sit on the lid so no one can get anything.
  • He is attempting to keep everything for himself
  • It is going to cost him money to tear down his old barns and more money to build new barns. The fool is blinded by his own greed.
  • Get out your pencil and paper and do the math, would it not have saved him money to have filled all his barns and gave the rest away. [Would have been the best thing]
  • Even so, it would have been better economically just to build a few extra barns but he doesn’t think because he is blinded by greed.
  • Jim Elliott: He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.
  • C.S. Lewis–Nothing becomes permanently ours until we first give it away.
  • Jesus said–“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
  • Hoarding is foolish: The earth is the LORDs and the fullness thereof…You are not going to keep your house, farm, toys, etc.

III. HE DIED LIKE A FOOL

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” 
  • We are not  prepared to live until we are prepared to die. This fool made no preparation for death.
  • There are at least two Greek words that are translated fool: [1] aphrōn[found here in v. 20] without reason, senseless, foolish, stupid, without reflection or intelligence, acting rashly. [2] But the word Jesus used most in reference to a fool is mōros from which we get the word moron. For example, the man who build his house on sand, Jesus called him a moron. In Matthew 23, He called the Pharisees morons twice and He also refers to the foolish virgins in Matthew 25 as morons.
  • Folks it is senseless, foolish, stupid and yes even moronic to make preparations to live and not to make any for death.

CONCLUSION

[Story of Herbert Harris]