Sunday, February 7th
Good morning church family!
I have chosen to once again write a devotional instead of record a video. We did not know we would need to cancel church until late Thursday afternoon. I could record the sermon I prepared for Sunday, but I have to believe that recordings simply do not carry the weight of preaching live in person. Also, this sermon coming up is so good that I was getting fired up about it in my office on Thursday and began preaching it out loud to myself, HA! That sermon is just going to have to wait until a live church service.
Assuming we are in the building next week, we will also do communion. If you are watching on Facebook right now, please feel free to come by the church and pick up communion supplies, and you can participate at home. We are happy to deliver them as well. Please feel free to let us know if we can help you with that!
God Omniscient, God All Knowing by Matt Boswell
Christ our Hope in Life and Death by Keith and Kristyn Getty
If interested, please watch the video about the writing of Christ our Hope in Life and Death. I am thankful for people today who are still writing new hymns with doctrinal depth that are rooted in Scripture.
You can tithe online at FBC Giving.
I have to admit that I was a little frustrated at the need to cancel church today. I knew this day would come when a few people may have Covid, and it would be better to cancel than to risk exposing more people, especially when the vaccine is becoming readily available to so many people. However, I woke up this morning with Psalm 118:24 on my mind:
"This is the day that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
That's an incredibly simple statement, but it is also an incredibly powerful statement. Many of us live with various frustrations these days. You might be frustrated with politics (aren't we all?). We are all frustrated with Covid policies and Covid in general. You might be frustrated with a family member or friend. The list could go on. The truth is that all of us deal with life's frustrations, and these days seem to provide plenty of opportunity for frustration.
Yet, I wonder how often we stop and consider this one simple verse. As a preacher, I enjoy breaking down longer passages and digging into the original languages, but oftentimes, simple can be better.
So, let's break this passage down for just a moment.
First, the Psalm says this is the day that the Lord has made. This should focus your attention on what is before you today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow (or the day before, for that matter). Your focus as a believer in Christ is to realize that what is before you today is exactly what the Lord had planned. Live in the light of knowing that today is where you must focus your heart for Christian living.
Secondly, the Psalm says that this is the day that the Lord has made. Why is it that you should focus your attention on today? Well, for one thing, you can't do anything to change it. More importantly, today is the day the Lord has made. I love science and the laws that God created that govern the universe, but, without God, the sun would not rise today. The rain would not fall. You aren't promised tomorrow. You are only promised what is put in front of you today, and today is the day that the Lord has made. Frustrations may abound, but today is the Lord's day!
Third, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Rejoice? "But...but...this world seems so hopeless, and you don't know what my life is like." Yes, I still say, "rejoice." It seems counterintuitive, but the truth about how you feel is more determined by how you act than it is how you feel. Feelings follow actions, not the other way around. You don't have to "feel" a certain way in order to act a certain way. Feelings are not a very good guide for your actions. What if we approached each day with reasons to rejoice instead of reasons to be frustrated? Yes, life is messy and the world has gone mad, but this is still the day that the Lord has made, and we should all rejoice!
"But, I don't have to be happy about it, right?"
Fourth, this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." I think there was a reason David put this statement last. If all we do is focus on what there is to be frustrated about, we will never get to the point where we can be glad in whatever the day may bring. Here's the deal though - if you want to be glad in whatever today might bring, you cannot skip over the first three things above. You must recognize that today is the day that is before right now. You must recognize that today is the day that the Lord has made, and because it is His day, then you have reason to rejoice. If you get your heart and mind around those three things, then I bet you can begin to be glad in whatever today may bring.
As the hymn says:
When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
This is the day that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
There is always something to be frustrated about, but today is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!
I hope you have a wonderful day! It is my hope that we will be back in the building again next week!
I would encourage you at some point today to take some time and pray for the following individuals:
Charles & Doris Davis
Gene and Linda Woody
Kitty Ham (she is home from the hospital)
Terry Gooding's son and grandson
Mary Alice Beaman