Working on a Dream




Monday, July 18, 2016

Mr. Destiny

Monday Morning Sermon Summary

Good day everyone!

This Sunday wrapped up our series on the first Psalm.  I opened the message reminiscing about one of my favorite movies when I was a kid, Mr. Destiny.  In the movie, Frank Burrows played by Jim Belushi had his total life altered one fateful baseball game when he struck out in the championship game during the bottom of the 9th.  With runners on base, he could have hit the ball, won the game, and then became a legend in that hometown.  This would have changed his destiny.

Like Frank Burrows we could change our destiny if we decide to do a few things.  The verses that I preached from this Sunday were:

V. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
V. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.
Image result for mr destiny
The first is to “know” God.  According to the Psalm, the, “Lord knows the way of the righteous.”  Let’s focus in on that word, “know” for a second.  In the Bible, the term “know” is often a term that brings a lot meaning.  It can mean:  Approves, or, has regard to” … Do you recall how the Bible describes Adam’s relationship with Eve in Genesis?  The Bible teaches that “Adam knew Eve.”  No need for a biology lesson here folks, the point is that they were intimate.  So when we read that, “the Lord knows the righteous” we have to understand that there is an intimate relationship established between them.  They share mutual affection.  This is a two-way street.  Step one:  get to know the Lord.

The second means to change your destiny is walking in the way of the Lord.  Notice that verse 6 uses the term, “way” twice.  The way or path one takes in life will reveal their lifestyle.  Jesus taught, Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.   See friends, at the end of the day there are only 2 destines available for you and I. You can either follow after the Lord or the lure of the world.  Jesus is clear that one road will be full while the other sparse.  The question is -what path are you currently on? 

If you circle back to verse 5 you will notice that the final destination of the wicked is bleak!  Standing in front of God will reveal whether you:   Know the Lord and have taken the narrow road.

As you read this you are like Frank Burrows standing at the plate in the bottom of the 9th, with men on base.  You have the opportunity to change your destiny!  May you thoughtfully and prayerfully consider doing so.

Monday, July 11, 2016

What are the the Habits of the Happy?

Monday Morning Sermon Summary!
This past Sunday I again preached on the first Psalm, this time focusing on verses 2 and 3. 
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
I began the sermon by talking about people’s hobbies. Hobbies are things we usually do not get paid for; still we spend exorbitant amount of time, money, and energy on them. Why? It is because we love them. We lose ourselves in them, we lose track of time when engaging them. Our Psalm sheds light on the attitude of the happy man in terms of God’s Word. Notice that he “delights” in it.
His heart finds joy in it. He finds ways to spend time in God’s Word: Church, study, daily readings… This is not work for the blessed person, notice that it is a delight and NOT a duty! This is habit #1. Furthermore, we learn that after he delights -he meditates.This is the second habit.  He is not satisfied with a cursory reading of God’s Word, rather he spends his time dwelling on, chewing on if you will, the material that he reads. For the blessed person, they are more interested to have the Word get through them rather than them getting through the Word.  In fact, the Hebrew term for meditate is literally, “Hagah,” which means, “to moan.” Ever watch someone in deep thought? Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. You might hear them making that sound as they ponder what they are learning. This is the idea that the psalmist is presenting to us. What we find our delight in; we will spend our days thinking about. In short, our minds will follow our hearts. Now I have to be sure to make the point that the blessed man does not do all of this as an end to itself, no, he wants to know the Word of God so that he knows the God of the Word. This is his great aim. As it should be ours.
In the next verse, we have the beautiful picture of the person that delights in God portrayed as a fruitful tree that is planted by the water that will produce in its season. Several lessons are ready for us in this verse. The first is that the tree is not dead, it is growing. It is alive! In the same way, you and I should be growing in our faith. The next lesson is that this tree is giving in its season. We learn that the tree has fruit to give. It blesses others that walk by it by giving nourishment. Friend, do you bless others? Finally, the tree is grounded. It has roots that go deep in the ground to find the water. You can’t push over this tree -it is mammoth. 
The conclusion of the sermon had me sharing about the person in my life that encapsulated the blessed person talked about in Psalm 1. I spoke of my Italian grandmother, Nonnon. I reminisced of being a little boy and after I had slept overnight at her house I would often walk downstairs to find her at the dining room table reading her bible in Italian and watching her mouth the Scripture audibly. She was delighting and meditating on God’s Word. And if this world ever knew a person that was a spiritual Red-Wood, it was her.

Hope to see you Sunday!