August 6, 2023
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Hebrews 12:14-28 (NIV)
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
This summer we looked at different disciplines in the Psalms. Psalm 63 the subject was a desire for God, to know Him and praise Him. Psalm 25 was the discipline of making good decisions. This week is Psalm 11, a discipline of distress.
Psalm 11:1-7 (NIV)
In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence His soul hates. On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see His face.
Psalm 11:4 The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men. (KJV)
Psalm 121:1, 2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
What are your foundations when everything seems to be falling apart? ~D. Moore
Suffering shows us what we are fully trusting. ~D. Moore
Revelation 4:1-11 God on His throne in Heaven
When the wheels are coming off our lives, we need to think about several things. ~D. Moore
1. We are reminded that God is in control. God is still on His throne. God is not fleeing. God is ruling all of creation. Either God is in control on His throne, or He is powerless. ~D. Moore
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
2. We need to see that all disasters, all things shaking our foundation, is actually an examination. Tests are meant to show us where we need to continue to learn or where we need to continue to trust. ~D. Moore
Two types of tests:
A) The Jonathan test is a trial that shows us a character flaw (sin). The test brings trouble in our life to create a motivation to change.
B) The Job test is a test that tests our foundation of beliefs. The example of Job is he has no sin, but Satan is allowed to have his way with Job and takes everything from Job to demonstrate that God is in control, and He is our hope and salvation. ~D. Moore
3. The idea is that only fake foundations can be destroyed by circumstances. We panic because we think we are in charge. When we take refuge in God that panic subsides. We then begin to understand the test and understand our foundation is based on God.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
4. If we really understand God to be our refuge, we have to seek His face.
Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.
We have been given a firm foundation in God. Life is about one test after another, they can wear us down or we find refuge in God. He loves us and wants us to find refuge in Him for eternity.
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
This week take heart and God will never give you more than you can handle. He is strengthening you for more challenges that will glorify Him in your life.
God bless, have a great week.