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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Don’t miss the music in your walk with God!

 I had the privilege once again this last Sunday of leading the Parkrose Village United Congregation in worship.

Call to Worship:Romans 8:28. KJV
 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." 

The sermon was based on readings from the book of Job. 

Don’t miss the music in your walk with God!

In today’s reading from Job we have some really interesting dialogue between Job and God.

For some background reading I have been looking at a bible study book by Charles Swindoll on the Book of Job and also a book called where was God on September 11.
I also watched Charles  deliver a sermon on the book of Job  on youtube to some newly commencing seminary students.

What I am doing today will be nowhere as in depth as Charles Swindoll.
Job was a man who the devil asked of God permission to wreck Job’s life to test out how faithful Job really was.
How can we understand that?

We read these words at the start of the book.

Job 1 Living Bible (TLB) The reality that we have an adversary, the devil.

There lived in the land of Uz a man named Job—a good[a] man who feared God and stayed away from evil. 2-3 He had a large family of seven sons and three daughters and was immensely wealthy,[b] for he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest cattleman in that entire area.
Every year when Job’s sons had birthdays, they invited their brothers and sisters to their homes for a celebration. On these occasions they would eat and drink with great merriment. When these birthday parties ended—and sometimes they lasted several days—Job would summon his children to him and sanctify them, getting up early in the morning and offering a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and turned away from God[c] in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
One day as the angels[d] came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan, the Accuser, came with them.
“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.
And Satan replied, “From earth, where I’ve been watching everything that’s going on.”
Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a good man[e] who fears God and will have nothing to do with evil.”
“Why shouldn’t he when you pay him so well?” Satan scoffed. 10 “You have always protected him and his home and his property from all harm. You have prospered everything he does—look how rich he is! No wonder he ‘worships’ you! 11 But just take away his wealth, and you’ll see him curse you to your face!”
12-13 And the Lord replied to Satan, “You may do anything you like with his wealth, but don’t harm him physically.”

How can we understand a passage like this?

Nonetheless tragedy as a result came on Job’s wealth and his household.

God’s goodness and justice

The whole book of Job tells us of the struggle Job had to stay loyal and worshipful to His God in spite of great personal loss.
He had  3 well meaning friends who gave him lots of so called good advice.
They accused him of being a sinner that he must have brought God’s judgement on himself.

When we are going through tough times there are often people willing to give us a theory or a solution to our problems.
They mean well but often all we really need is a friend,

a friend who listens and is also willing to be there for us no matter how much we might annoy them with our problems. 

Many great theologians and writers have commented on the problem of suffering and pain.
I don’t intend to do much on that today but just to say how sometimes we question God, and that’s a good thing, but in reality He is trustworthy and can manipulate our circumstances as we trust Him.

It is ok to get angry with God I must say.
He wants us to go to Him with where we are at.
Who we really are?
Just as we are.
He just wants us to be honest with Him.
Not to try and cover up our flaws.
When we do that is when we can start to fully realise the grace of God in our lives.
Just a couple of things from today’s Bible reading.

God’s Sovereignty “there is nothing He cannot do”.
God really pressed home the importance to Job of who He, God really was and His nature and Sovereignty.

God to Job

“Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence? Now get ready to fight, for I am going to demand some answers from you, and you must reply.
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Do you know how its dimensions were determined, and who did the surveying? 6-7 What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
34 Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? 35 Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct it?
36 “Who gives intuition and instinct?[a] 37-38 Who is wise enough to number all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven, when everything is dust and clods? 39-40 Can you stalk prey like a lioness, to satisfy the young lions’ appetites as they lie in their dens or lie in wait in the jungle? 41 Who provides for the ravens when their young cry out to God as they try to struggle up from their nest in hunger?"

God is in control of everything,
even Satan.

He created our world and everything in it.
His ways are beyond human comprehension.
We might never fathom the reasons behind our own suffering or that of others while on this earth.

Yet he does offer us Himself-

His presence,


 and love.

In the form of Jesus ,His only son who died on the cross for us. 

Who defeated death on the cross and became the personification of our sin and became our substitutionary

Job suffered terribly and yet  through it all he stood firm.

This was his final statement to God.
42 Then Job replied to God:
“I know that you can do anything and that no one can stop you. You ask who it is who has so foolishly denied your providence. It is I. I was talking about things I knew nothing about and did not understand, things far too wonderful for me.
“You said,[a] ‘Listen and I will speak! Let me put the questions to you! See if you can answer them!’
“But now I say,[b] ‘I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you, and I loathe myself and repent in dust and ashes.’”

If we really saw ourselves as we really are we might loathe ourselves also but how fortunate we live in the age of Grace and can repent of our sin and come to Jesus. 

When we do God sees us as made perfect in Him.

We are told that Job had all his life restored to him in more than the fullness he had experienced before the devil went to work.

There are 5 things in conclusion that Chuck Swindoll came up with.

1.  “There is nothing God cannot do.”
2.  “It is impossible to frustrate God’s Purpose”
3.  “God’s overall plan is beyond our ability to grasp”

(we do see glimpses of it but as we read in 1 Corinthians 13, "Now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see Him face to face") 

4.  “Our best response is to humble ourselves and rest in our father’s will”
(There is a chorus we learned years ago that goes like this: 
      "The Lord has a will,
And I have a need
To follow that will,
To humbly be still,
To rest in it,
Nest in it,
Fully be blessed in it,
Following my Father's will."


5.  “Don’t miss the music in your walk with God”
In my conclusion Job had said these words earlier in
Job 19
25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. 26 And I know that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God![a] 27 Then he will be on my side! Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend! What a glorious hope!”

What a glorious hope indeed!

And even more so when we can know Him before we die!

The words “I know my redeemer lives” are an integral part of arguably the most beautiful music in Christianity.

Handel's  "Messiah".

Out of the suffering of Job and those words Handel was inspired to give us such uplifting music.

I had given this sermon the title “don’t miss the music in your walk with God”.

I love to study Theology and the great theological questions.

Study the Bible.

What is it saying to me.

At this stage of life many of us here,
 we have probably done a fair bit of Bible study
 and pondering over things.

The whys and wherefores.

Why did this happen to me?

Why am I Here in this Nursing Home.

It is normal to do those things I guess.

But if we don’t understand everything, 

I certainly don’t, 

then we should not get hung up too much on our 
un-answered questions.

We are ministered to wonderfully here each week by our musicians, 
Kay,Marilyn and Lesley, 

Barry when he sings and Peter when he plays his guitar and sings and others from time to time.

Also in the midweek hymn singing and service and "singing with Stevie".
Music is a wonderful gift that God has given us.
As we sing praises to God we can be lifted right up to the heavenlies.
Lifted out of our current worries.

Pain and suffering is a problem, but we know our redeemer lives. 

I don’t pretend this is a subject where we have all the answers.

Just this week we have been reminded as a family just how challenging life is when start to talk about suffering.
An incredibly hard time for a family we know of and it has been for some time.

They lost their 11 year old daughter after years of suffering from an at this stage incurable condition. 

When we are in these situations , 

where can we turn to but to God?

There is no one else who can comfort us and give us hope.

Shall we enjoy some more of the music as we sing our final hymn.

Let God minister to us as we sing, "This is my Father's world"


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