Sunday, August 21, 2016

ADVICE YOU DID NOT ASK FOR: SCS 92

Sunday, August 21, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 92

PRAYER for Today:
Heavenly Father,
We know we are all broken and only You are able to heal the hearts and souls of all of us who are full of sin and bring light to the darkness in our lives. Help us Father to accept your freely given gift of grace that we might be reconciled to You. It is in Your Resurrected Living Son’s name we pray.
Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  
Psalm 42 New International Version (NIV)

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
   When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
   as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
   under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
   among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me;
   therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
   the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
   in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
   have swept over me.
8 By day the Lord directs his love,
   at night his song is with me—
   a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock,
   “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
   oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
   as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

SERMON for Today:

Let me share a piece of advice you may not have asked for.  When tragedy strikes don’t turn your face away from God in anger.  Don’t go to your friends for sympathy.  Don’t try to find a way to entertain yourself or distract yourself from your pain by dulling it with drink or pills.  It is the very time you need to seek after your Father with the most earnest effort you have ever made.

First, go looking for the place that seems to be closest to Him for you and start praying.  Praying.  Pouring out your heart and soul.  Asking to understand His will for your life.  Pray often and long and earnestly.

Secondly, get into the Word like you never have before.  Stop reading everything else other than the Bible.  Every free minute spend praying and reading the Word.  Get to know the Being you are seeking through what has already been revealed to us.  If you think you already know the Bible let me assure you there is always more to learn no matter how long you have been reading it.

Thirdly, spend as much time as you can with a few people you believe honestly believe in the power of the Resurrected Christ and The Holy Spirit.  I do not mean people who just call themselves Christians or go around saying the words.  I mean put yourself in the company of folks you believe are living a life led by the Holy Spirit.

Fourthly, every chance you get do some kind and loving act for another human that comes across your path in your daily life.  It does not have to be a big grand gesture.  Every little pebble thrown into the biggest lake makes a ripple.

The Psalmist keeps telling us to put our hope in our Father, but to make that work we have to work at it.  

God Bless and May God Walk Beside You Each Step You Take This Week. Amen

© Ed Cooper, August 21, Stoney Creek, Tennessee, Appalachia  
  All rights reserved
(Ed Cooper is an ordained minister and mental health advocate. He lives with his wife Patty in the mountains of East Tennessee.)

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