“It’s the Principle” part 3
Pastor David Moore
New Testament reading: Luke 18:35-43 (NIV)
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Old Testament reading: Psalm 63:1-11 (NIV)
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. They who seek my life will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God’s name will praise Him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
Theme: Explore the three marks of a spiritual experience.
“I call what I experienced and what I continue to experience at strange and weird places ‘joy’. I called it ‘joy’ to distinguish it from ‘pleasure’. Joy is a desire for something, which even unfilled is even more desirable than other satisfaction.”
~ C.S. Lewis, “Surprised by Joy”
Lewis is saying joy is a desire for something so sweet and strong that even to long for it unfulfilled is sweet and more satisfying than to have nothing else fulfilled. ~D. Moore
To be thirsty for this thing (joy) is better than drinking anything else. However, joy is never under control, but pleasure is. ~D. Moore
“What do you feel?” asked Father Seraphim. “An amazing well-being,” I replied. “I feel a great calm in my soul, a peace that no words can express, a strange, unknown delight, an amazing happiness, I’m amazed by warm, there is no scent in all the world like this one.” “I know,” said Father Seraphim, smiling. “This is as it should be, for divine grace comes to live in our hearts, within us.” Seraphim of Sarov in Russia 1825-30
Three signs of real spiritual experience
1. An appetite for God
2. A new sense of God
3. Praise for God
Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.
Psalm 8:1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
Hesed is a Hebrew word that means steadfast love, mercy, covenant faithfulness. Other descriptions of the word are loving kindness, unmerited love, a pledge of love, unmovable love, unchangeable. Unmerited love is supposed to be the close example if love is a marriage. ~D. Moore
Because God’s love is sacrificed, it is steadfast, it will always be unmovable no matter how we do life; you know when we get married we pledge for better or worse, richer or poorer. ~D. Moore
If I fail to live up to my part of the covenant, let this (divided animal) happen to me. This is what the psalmist sees in his mind at the Temple; it is God’s great love. Then God will bless even if it costs him something, like his own life. He will never leave or forsake us, He loves us unconditionally, this is what is better than life. ~D. Moore
To keep on keeping that promise, it is the discipline of saying, “No matter what I feel, I’m going to obey God. I’m going to keep the promise I have made to Him.” ~D. Moore
Psalm 63:3 Your love is better than life.
Ephesians 3:20 God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
I hope that you experience the steadfast love of God, that is better than life. I hope and pray that you experience this in your relationship with the God of the universe.