GracePointe Church (SBC)
Sunday, August 9
- Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
- How Great Thou Art
- Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
- There is nothing that will blind our eyes to true beauty more quickly than seasons of devastation. Seemingly unending trials.Maybe that is where you are today. Things have been hard. You have grown discouraged. You see violence, disease, anger, and outrage. You have lost a sense of the true beauty of the Creation in which God has placed us.I fear that one of the things that we—as Christians—have done is that we have preached so much against the world that we have destroyed the ability for Christians to enjoy the blessing of God’s creation.I think that we could learn something from that famed theologian, Louis Armstrong:[Verse 1] I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom, for me and you And I think to myself What a wonderful world[Verse 2] I see skies of blue and clouds of white The bright blessed days, the dark sacred nights And I think to myself What a wonderful world[Bridge] The colors of the rainbow So pretty in the sky Are also on the facesOf people going by I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do They're really saying, I love you[Verse 3] I hear babies cry, I watch them grow They'll learn much more Than I'll ever know And I think to myself What a wonderful world Yes, I think to myself What a wonderful worldIndeed, the world that God has created has been intended to prompt us to stand in awe of its beauty. It is intended by God to move us to worship Him. And yet, if we miss the simplicity of Life’s beauty, we stand in danger of hardening our hearts against God’s call for us to enjoy Him and the gifts He has given.A beautiful painting or a beautiful piece of music does nothing more than lead us to the heart of the artist.Likewise, seeing beauty and finding joy within this creation does not mean that do not love God. It means just the opposite. The beauty of Creation leads us to the joy of God.We cannot overlook the fact that God is glorious in such a way that He radiates joy, so that He is all He is with and not without beauty. His glory is not joyless. —Karl Barth, CD, II.1, 655.One of the consistent messages of the book of Psalms is that—even though this world has been wrecked by sin—the people who live by faith are able to see and experience the beauty of life that is given by God.Read TextRequirements: The Beauty of a Godly Life (1)There are actually two words used for “blessing” in the OT. They are somewhat different. The first word indicates something that comes as a divine gift of God. God sometimes give blessing to people for no real explainable reason. God—moved by His own compassion—chooses to give divine blessing to some people.The second word is used to show the consequences of living in a way that pleases God. Wise living brings blessed living. It is this second word that is used here. Living with wisdom brings a life of blessing.There are two things in Psalm 128 that lead to blessing—experiencing the beauty of life given by God:Attitude: Fear the LordActions: Walk in His Ways“Walking” is a common analogy used in the Bible for wise living. The path that a person walks indicates their commitment to the Lord. We can walk the broad path of destruction or we can walk the narrow path of life and blessing.A beautiful life is a godly life. It is a life that fears/reveres the Lord and it is a life that obeys the Lord.When you are going to a destination that you are not sure of the path, you must follow the directions. Us driving from San Antonio to Amarillo. This was before we had GPS. We had gotten into the Hill Country and were not sure where we were. I knew I-20 was running east and west. Just keep going north and you will cross. Sometimes life is confusing. It doesn’t make sense. Just keep going north—living in fear and obedience to the Lord—and you will come to familiar territory. Going the right direction will eventually bring you to beauty.Results: The Beauty of the Daily Life (2-4)You shall eat the fruit of your handsYou will be happy/blessed.The same word that is used in verse 1 translated as blessed.The word is used to indicate a “strong stand.” It used to indicate a strong tree or something that is immovable.Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.To be blessed means that you are able to stand strong. You are not easily moved. You are able to stand confidently where you are. Stable.It will be well (ט֣וֹב) with you. Used by God as He spoke of His Creation. “It is good. Pleasurable.”You wife shall be a fruitful vineThe image of the vine points—not only to the bearing of children—but also to a biblical definition of beauty. Beauty that is not limited to the outward adornment. But to a “quiet and peaceable spirit.”You children will be like olive plantsApplicationWhat we see from this passage is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the presence of God touches every area of our lives. It touches the big decisions of whom shall I marry? Where shall I live? What career should I pursue.And it touches the so-called mundane areas of life. The Word of God teaches us about work and play and sex and hobbies. God is not simply interested in your eternal life. He is interested in your daily life.In the Bible, the Sabbath is—not only a time to rest—but also a time to reflect. A time to reflect on God’s provision and blessing in the *everydayness* of life.Faithful Christianity is not so much seen in accomplishing the unbelievable. It is seen in living a godly and peaceable life.Reprisal: Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.Benediction: The Beauty of the Blessed Life (5-6)What do we mean by “blessed life”?Four prayers:The Lord Bless You. This word for “bless” (יְבָרֶכְ) is the other word for “bless.” The one above speaks of a life that attained through fearing and obeying the Lord. This *bless* refers to the Lord giving good gifts to His people. It is the divine bestowal of God’s goodness. Undeserved merit from God.May you see prosperity. Same word as above: ט֣וֹב. A prayer that your life will be good. Satisfying.May you have long life. There are few things that make the heart gladder than to see one’s children become the parents. Than to see the children’s children grow and flourish.Peace upon the People of God.ConclusionYou can only sing “What a Beautiful World” if you can first sing this song:This is my Father's world And to my listening ears All nature sings and round me rings The music of the spheresThis is my Father's world I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees Of skies and seas His hands the wonders rodThis is my Father's world The birds their carols raise The morning light the, lily white Declare their Maker's praiseThis is my Father's world He shines in all that's fare In rustling grass I hear him pass He speaks to me everywhereThis is my Father's world And to my listening ears All nature sings and round me rings The music of the sphereReflectionTrue beauty is found in the willingness of Jesus Christ to give His life for us. Until you have come know Jesus Christ, you cannot see the true beauty of God’s love for His Creation and for you.Maybe you need to reflect and pray:Lord, I have been blinded to the true beauty of your Creation and to your giving life to this Creation by the devastation that I see all around me. Please wipe my eyes clear and help me to once again see that you are good. That you have given good things. What if you simply began to write down the good things that you have from the good hand of the Lord? Would you have enough ink? Would you have enough paper?Maybe you need to pray O God. I cannot see anything beautiful because my eyes are blinded by my own sinfulness. I need to be saved. Would you change my heart. Would you give me a new mind. Would you help me to see things through the eyes of your Spirit.
- Be Thou My Vision
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