“Gazing Into God’s Face”
Pastor David Moore
New Testament reading: John 10:1-16 (NIV)
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what He was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
Theme today – The promises of God.
Old Testament reading: Psalm 27:1-14 (NIV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. DO not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desires of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
The promises of God are so life-altering, so great and often so easily forgotten when we get into trouble, it never hurts to be reminded of God’s promises to each of us. ~D. Moore
The main promise is the promise God gives to us to be our safe place. ~D. Moore
David begins, if Yahweh is my light and my salvation, who should I fear? Though an army comes against me, I’m not bothered because God is my safe place. ~D. Moore
The realistic view of life; it is hard, a struggle, there are evil folks doing evil things and scheming evil schemes…but the promise is a God that provides a safe place. A stronghold, a safe place that we should be able to live without fear. ~D. Moore
Psalm 91:2 I say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety, my fortress. My God, I trust in you.”
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
A misreading of Romans 8:28 means that nothing really bad will ever happen to me, which is not what the Bible teaches. Not Paul, not David. ~D. Moore
‘Progressive revelation’ is the idea that the Old Testament authors knew a lot about God, that they have a solid grip on theology. The New Testament builds on the Old Testament and another dimension that completes the knowledge of the truth through Jesus’ life.
Verse 5, “For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe.” David is saying he will keep me safe in trouble. Nothing will come into your life but that which realizes the greatness and nearness of Jesus Christ in your life. Which means challenging times will come into your life to bring to life its greatness and nearness and the likeness of God into your life. ~D. Moore
It is safe in trouble, all important parts of you are completely safe. All your greatest joys and concerns, your highest interests, the most valuable things about you are safe. ~D. Moore
If we live in this promise, we can live without fear. Our hearts will be strong, our heads exalted above our enemies. ~D. Moore
What is the key element David needs in order to live this promise? One thing I ask God is that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and to gaze upon God’s beauty. ~D. Moore
Someone smarter than me said a religious person finds God useful, but someone who loves God finds Him beautiful. ~D. Moore
The religious person wants a reward; for the Christian, God is the reward. ~D. Moore
David would tell us that gazing on God cannot be touched by enemies. They can hurt him physically, take his money and his animals, but none of that matters in the long run. They cannot touch my relationship with God. ~D. Moore
Psalm 1 says a godly man delights in the law of the Lord. He meditates on it all the time. The word in Hebrew is the same word that means a cow is chewing its cud. We are trying to get the sweetness of God and we enjoy the process of getting better acquainted with God. ~D. Moore
Psalm 39:3 My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue.
The three areas of God’s beauty are:
1. The beauty of His majesty
2. The beauty of His wisdom
3. The beauty of His grace
A promise to David and to us that God will never remove Himself from us, no matter what we do. Because Jesus, in the garden, was praying, seeking God’s face, Jesus the suffering servant was forsaken, so we would never be.
Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked of the Lord; this is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek Him in His temple.
God bless. Keep gazing into the beauty of God. Have a great week.