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God is Thinking Of You Sermon

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SEPTEMBER BBC SUMMER IN THE PSALM – PS. 139:17-18

“GOD IS THINKING OF YOU”

NKJ PSALM 139:17-18 HOW PRECIOUS ALSO ARE YOUR THOUGHTS TO ME, O GOD! HOW GREAT IS THE SUM OF THEM!  IF I SHOULD COUNT THEM, THEY WOULD BE MORE IN NUMBER THAN THE SAND; WHEN I AWAKE, I AM STILL WITH YOU.

INTRO: REMEMBER YOUR FIRST LOVE, THAT BOY OR THAT GIRL; THE WAY THEY WALKED AND TALKED AND HOW YOU FELT WHEN YOU WERE IN THEIR PRESENCE. AND WHEN YOU WEREN’T IN THEIR PRESENCE, ALL YOU COULD DO WAS TO THINK ABOUT THEM.  

BROADWAY GAVE US THE SONG, THINKING ABOUT YOU FROM THE 1927 FROM THE PLAY, THE FIVE O’CLOCK GIRL...WHICH WAS REVIVED IN THE 1950’S BY PHILA. NATIVE EDDIE FISHER …WHO SUNG A LOVE SONG ABOUT A GIRL THAT’S ON HIS MIND AND IN HIS DREAMS. HE CAN ‘T GET HER OUT OF HIS MIND.  AND IN THE DAY OF R & B ARTIST ARETHA FRANKLIN, SANG A SONG, DAYDREAMING AND THINKING YOU.

WHAT A BLESSING IT IS TO LOVE AND BE LOVE AND HAVE THOSE THOUGHTS IN OUR MINDS AND MEMORIES. 

[1]

EXPL: IN THE TEXT, DAVID A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART; IS BLESSED TO KNOW THAT GOD IS THINKING ABOUT HIM.

IN THE TEXT WE ARE INVITED TO THINK ABOUT GOD AND WHO HE IS AND WHAT ‘S DONE….

THAT IS STEEPED DEEP THEOLOGY OF GOD;

WHO IS THIS GOD WHO HAS US ON HIS MIND;

WHO IS THIS GOD WHO KNOWS US…

HE IS…

1  OMNISCIENT – KNOWS IT ALL; KNOWS US ALL

2 OMNIPRESENT – KNOWS WHERE I AM; KNOWS WHERE ARE

3 OMNIPOTENT – KNOWS WHAT MAKES US TICK, HE MADE US – DVD SAYS, I WILL PRAISE YOU BECAUSE I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.

THE PSALMIST REMINDS US ….

BEGINNING OF THE PS: GOD HAS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE …ABOUT US…I KNOW YOU AS A PERSON

 

END OF THE PS: DAVID HAS A PERSONAL PRAYER …GOD DIRECT MY PATH

 

MIDDLE OF THE PS: THERE IS A PERSONAL REMINDER … GOD IS THINKING ABOUT US.

 

PROP: FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD MEANS GOD HAS US ON HIS MIND.

TS: AS WE LOOK AT THIS PORTION OF SCRIPTURE WE WILL DISCOVER THAT AS A FRIEND OF GOD, GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT ME.

INTER: WHAT CAN WE DISCOVER ABOUT FRIENDSHIP  WITH GOD? 

GOD IS SO CONCERNED ABOUT ME….AND ABOUT YOU THAT…

 

I. GOD IS  THINKING ABOUT YOU .  

 

HOW PRECIOUS ARE HIS THOUGHTS OF US; WHEN WE THINK OF THAT WHICH IS PRECIOUS WE THINK OF STUFF; PRECIOUS THINGS, PRECIOUS THINGS OF HEAVEN; PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS; PRECIOUS GEMS. THIS OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE AND VALUE.

THERE ARE THOSE PRECIOUS PEOPLE, THOSE FOLK WHO ARE VALUABLE, VERY IMPORTANT TO US, LOYAL AND TRUE. PRECIOUS PEOPLE, FAITHFUL FRIENDS… FOSTER OUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES

IMP. GOD SEES US AS V.I.P’S AND HE IS ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT US; GOD’S THOUGHTS ARE DEEP, MIGHTY, FOLLOW INTRICATE PATTERNS AND DESIGNS THAT FORMA PLANS FOR OUR LIVES.  IT SAYS THAT GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES IN ALL PERIODS OF OUR LIVES; HIS THOUGHTS ARE INEXHAUSTIBLE, VAST, AWESOME AND WE WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THEM ALL; THEY ARE TOO DEEP TO COMPREHEND.

OLD TEST: JERMIAH 29:11  FOR I KNOW THE THOUGHTS THAT I THINK TOWARD YOU, SAYS THE LORD, THOUGHTS OF PEACE AND NOT OF EVIL, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.

APP: WE ARE THE OBJECT OF GOD’S AFFECTION …HE LOVES US AND IS ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT US….READ GODS’ WORD AND RECALL WHAT GOD THINKS ABOUT US; ACT ACCORDING TO HIS WORD AND RECALL WHO GOD THINKS WE ACT LIKE…

ILL: THINKING OF YOU…HEAD AND HEART ARE INVOLVED: KEEP GOD’S TRUTH IN YOUR HEAD, AND HIS LOVE IN YOUR HEART.

II.  GOD IS COUNTING ON YOU.

HOW GREAT ARE THE SUM OF GOD’S THOUGHTS; HOW VAST IS THE TOTALITY OF WHAT GOD THINKS OF ME; THEY ARE SO MANY…IF I COUNTED THEM THEY WOULD BE MORE THAT THAN THE GRAINS OF SAND ALONG EVERY SEA SHORE. I COULDN’T EVEN BEGIN TO COUNT THEM SINCE THEY OUTNUMBER THE SAND.

NUMBERS, COUNTING, STATS PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE

IN OUR LIVES: WE COUNT THINGS, PEOPLE AS WELL AS ACTIONS;

IN FUN OF SPORTS, WE COUNT SCORES WITH TERMS CALLED HOMERUNS, TOUCHDOWN AND PARS

IN FAMILY WE COUNT CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN…AS JEWELS IN OUR CROWNS

IN FINANCE: WE COUNT OUR THE INTEREST AND PERCENTAGES AS WELL AS DOLLARS AND CENTS,

IN THE BIBLE; FROM THE ST BOOK OF GENESIS TO THE LAST BOOK OF REVELATION THERE ARE NUMBERS. IN THE PENTATEUCH, WITHIN THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES THERE IS THE BOOK OF NUMBERS.  THESE NUMBERS AR8E USED IN A LITERAL SENSE; LITTLE BOY HAD A LUNCH OF 5 LOAVES AND TWO FISH; AS WELL AS A SYMBOLIC SENSE, LIKE THE NUMBER 7 MEANING COMPLETION; OR 40  WHICH MEANS A TIME OF JUDGMENT OR TESTING.

IMP. NUMBERS SYMBOLIZE A MEAGER WAY WE CAN CONCEPTUALIZE GOD; WE KNOW THAT GOD HAS NO BEGINNING NOR END; WE KNOW HE WAS BEFORE WAS, BUT IN ORDER TO SCRATCH THE SURFACE OF WHO  GOD IS AND HOW HE BLESSES US…THERE ARE NUMBERS.

TEXT: ABRAHAM WAS CALLED BY GOD AND BLESSED BY GOD…GOD PROMISES ABRAHAM THAT HE WILL MAKE HIM THE FATHER OF MANY NATIONS, HE SAYS TO IM THE NUMBER OF HIS SEED, HIS FAMILY WOULD OUTNUMBER THE STARS IN THE SKY. GEN 15:5.

FROM THE STORY OF JOSEPH AND THE BEGINNING OF THE ISRAEL PEOPLE; THEY WENT FROM SEVENTY PEOPLE INTO EGYPT TO BECOME A LARGE, NUMEROUS, FRUITFUL AND A POPULOUS PEOPLE

WHEN MOSES WAS IN THE WILDERNESS HE SUPPLIED MANNA IN THE MORNING AND IN PREP FOR THE SABBATH; HE GAVE THEM A DOUBLE PORTION.

IN THE NT. JESUS CALLED 12 THAT TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN; FROM 12 APOSTLE, TO THE 70 DISCIPLES, TO THE 120 DISCIPLES TO PETER PREACHING WHERE 3000 GOT SAVED ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

PAUL SAYS THAT GOD IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDINGLY AND ABUNDANTLY ABOVE  ALL WE CAN ASK OR THINK – EPH. 3.

PAUL SAYS I RECKIN…COUNTING TERM THAT THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS LIFE ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED TO THE GLORY THAT SHALL BE REVEALED IN US.

APP: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. GOD IS COUNTING ON US TO COUNT ON HIM.

ILL: FOR THE CHRISTIAN, GRATITUDE SHOULD BE A LIFE ATTITUDE.

“COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS” WAS WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE PROLIFIC GOSPEL SONG WRITERS OF THE PAST CENTURY, A METHODIST LAY PREACHER NAMED JOHNSON OATMAN.

IN ADDITION TO HIS PREACHING AND THE WRITING OF MORE THAN 5,000 HYMN TEXTS, OATMAN WAS ALSO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MAN, ENGAGED IN A SHIPPING BUSINESS AND IN HIS LATER YEARS AS AN ADMINISTRATOR FOR A LARGE INSURANCE COMPANY IN NEW JERSEY.

IT IS GOOD FOR EACH OF US PERIODICALLY TO TAKE TIME TO REDISCOVER THE SIMPLE BUT PROFOUND TRUTHS EXPRESSED BY MR. OATMAN IN THE FOUR STANZAS OF THIS HYMN.

IN THE FIRST TWO VERSES HE DEVELOPS THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS SERVES AS AN ANTIDOTE FOR LIFE’S DISCOURAGEMENTS AND IN TURN MAKES FOR VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING. THE THIRD STANZA OF THIS HYMN TEACHES US THAT COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS CAN BE A MEANS OF PLACING MATERIAL POSSESSIONS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE WHEN COMPARED TO THE ETERNAL INHERITANCE AWAITING BELIEVERS.

THEN AS WE REVIEW OUR INDIVIDUAL BLESSINGS, WE CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE TO AGREE WITH MR. OATMAN’S FOURTH VERSE: THE PROVISION OF GOD’S HELP AND COMFORT TO THE END OF OUR EARTHLY PILGRIMAGE IS ONE OF OUR CHOICEST BLESSINGS.

EACH OF US COULD SPARE OURSELVES MUCH DESPAIR AND INNER TENSION IF WE WOULD ONLY LEARN TO APPLY THE PRACTICAL TEACHING OF THIS HYMN TO OUR DAILY LIVING.

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.

ARE YOU EVER BURDENED WITH A LOAD OF CARE? DOES THE CROSS SEEM HEAVY YOU ARE CALLED TO BEAR? COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS—EV’RY DOUBT WILL FLY, AND YOU WILL BE SINGING AS THE DAYS GO BY.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT OTHERS WITH THEIR LANDS AND GOLD, THINK THAT CHRIST HAS PROMISED YOU HIS WEALTH UNTOLD; COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS—MONEY CANNOT BUY YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN NOR YOUR HOME ON HIGH.

SO AMID THE CONFLICT, WHETHER GREAT OR SMALL, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. GOD IS OVER ALL; COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS—ANGELS WILL ATTEND, HELP AND COMFORT GIVE YOU TO YOUR JOURNEY’S END.

 

CHORUS: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS—NAME THEM ONE BY ONE; COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS—SEE WHAT GOD HATH DONE.

MAKE A LIST OF GOD’S BLESSINGS. SHARE THIS LIST WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.[2]

III.  I  AM TRUSTING IN  GOD.

AND WHEN I AWAKE, I AM STILL WITH THEE…..

WHEN I COME TO AN END, WE ARE STILL TOGETHER

THE LAST PHRASE SPEAKS OF TRUST IN THE LORD FROM DAY TO DAY. IN THE MORNING WHEN I RISE; AFTER A NIGHT OF SLEEP…I WILL CONTINUE TO PLACE MY TRUST IN THEE. END I COME TO THE END OF THE DAY AND BEGIN ANEW I WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.

IMP.  I AM COMMITTED TO THE LORD DAY AND NIGHT; I AM TRUSTING IN HIS PROVISION AS WELL AS PROTECTION I WILL CONTINUE TO WALK, TALK AND TRUST THE LORD.

THIS LAST LINE SPEAKS OF OUR AWARENESS THAT GOD HAS FASHIONED US FOR HIMSELF; FOR COMPANIONSHIP. WE ARE CALLED AND BLESSED TO WALK WITH GOD.  AND WHEN WE COME TO AN END….GOD IS STLLL THERE.

IMP; . I AM COMMITTED TO THE LORD IN LIFE AS WELL AS DEATH. GOD WILL BRING ABOUT AN END TO ALL FLESH …AND BE THERE FOR US.

JUDGEMENT TERM….WHEN WE SHALL ALL WALK UP….       

OUR WALK IN OUR PHYSICAL BODY MEANS THAT WE GET TIRED

OUR WALK IN OUR SPIRITUAL BODY MEANS WE GET TIRED. AND WE NEED TO REST; HE NEVER SLEEPS AND SLUMBERS AND SO WHEN WE AWAKE…GOD IS STILL THERE.

PSALM 17:15 AS FOR ME, I WILL SEE YOUR FACE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS; I SHALL BE SATISFIED WHEN I AWAKE IN YOUR LIKENESS.

APP: HAVE A MADE UP MIND TO STAY WITH THE LORD.

HAVE A MADE UP MIND AND DON’T LET ANYONE TURN YOU AROUND

HAVE A MADE UP MIND AND KNOW THAT PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY; IN LIFE AND DEATH ….GOD CAN BE TRUSTED….BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE.

PROP: GOD IS ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT US BECAUSE HE LOVES US.

 

AND WHEN WE THINK OF THE GOODNESS OF JESUS

 

AND WHO HE IS …AS ALPHA AND OMEGA, AS THE FIRST AND LAST THE BEGINNING THE END.

 

AND ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US..IT MAKES OUR SOULS SHOUT HALLELUJAH

CHRIST KNOWS ME

CHRIST IS CONCERNED FOR ME

CHRIST LOVES ME

 

GOD HAS ME ON HIS MIND AND IN HIS HEART

 

ILL

ELIZABETH SPENT HER YOUTH AT HOPE END IN 1809, NEAR GREAT MALVERN, ENGLAND. WHILE STILL A CHILD SHE CAME INTO A CONSIDERABLE FORTUNE FROM THE JAMAICAN SUGAR PLANTATIONS DUE TO HER FATHER (EDWARD MOULTON) WHO PUBLISHED 50 COPIES OF A JUVENILE EPIC, ON THE BATTLE OF MARATHON. SHE WAS EDUCATED AT HOME, BUT OWED HER PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE OF THE GREEK LANGUAGE AND MUCH MENTAL STIMULUS TO HER EARLY FRIENDSHIP WITH THE BLIND SCHOLAR, HUGH STUART BOYD, WHO WAS A NEIGHBOUR.

IN HER EARLY TEENS, ELIZABETH CONTRACTED A LUNG COMPLAINT, POSSIBLY TUBERCULOSIS, ALTHOUGH THE EXACT NATURE HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF MUCH SPECULATION, AND WAS TREATED AS A PERMANENT INVALID BY HER PARENTS. FOR A GIRL OF THAT TIME, SHE WAS WELL-EDUCATED, HAVING BEEN ALLOWED TO ATTEND LESSONS WITH HER BROTHER'S TUTOR. SHE PUBLISHED HER FIRST POEM, ANONYMOUSLY, AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, BUT WROTE HER FIRST AT THE AGE OF TWELVE. IN 1826 SHE PUBLISHED ANONYMOUSLY AN ESSAY ON MIND AND OTHER POEMS.

SHORTLY AFTERWARDS, THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY, A CAUSE WHICH SHE SUPPORTED (SEE HER WORK THE RUNAWAY SLAVE AT PILGRIM'S POINT (1849)), CONSIDERABLY REDUCED MR. BARRETT'S MEANS. HE ACCORDINGLY DISPOSED OF HIS ESTATE AND MOVED WITH HIS FAMILY FIRST TO SIDMOUTH AND AFTERWARDS TO LONDON. AT THE FORMER LOCATION MISS BARRETT WROTE PROMETHEUS BOUND (1833). AFTER HER MOVE TO LONDON SHE FELL INTO DELICATE HEALTH, HER LUNGS BEING THREATENED. THIS DID NOT, HOWEVER, INTERFERE WITH HER LITERARY LABOURS, AND SHE CONTRIBUTED TO VARIOUS PERIODICALS "THE ROMAUNT OF MARGARET", "THE ROMAUNT OF THE PAGE", "THE POET'S VOW", AND OTHER PIECES. IN 1838 APPEARED THE SERAPHIM AND OTHER POEMS (INCLUDING "COWPER'S GRAVE").

SHORTLY THEREAFTER, THE DEATH OF HER FAVORITE BROTHER GAVE A SERIOUS SHOCK TO HER ALREADY FRAGILE HEALTH; AND FOR A TIME SHE HOVERED BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH. EVENTUALLY, HOWEVER, SHE REGAINED STRENGTH, AND MEANWHILE HER FAME WAS GROWING. THE PUBLISHING ABOUT 1841 OF "THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN" GAVE IT A GREAT IMPULSE, AND ABOUT THE SAME TIME SHE CONTRIBUTED SOME CRITICAL PAPERS IN PROSE TO RICHARD HENRY HORNE'S NEW SPIRIT OF THE AGE. IN 1844 SHE PUBLISHED TWO VOLUMES OF POEMS, WHICH COMPRISED "THE DRAMA OF EXILE", "VISION OF POETS", AND "LADY GERALDINE'S COURTSHIP".

IN 1845 SHE MET FOR THE FIRST TIME HER FUTURE HUSBAND, ROBERT BROWNING. THEIR COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE, OWING TO HER DELICATE HEALTH AND THE EXTRAORDINARY OBJECTIONS ENTERTAINED BY MR. BARRETT TO THE MARRIAGE OF ANY OF HIS CHILDREN, WERE CARRIED OUT UNDER SOMEWHAT PECULIAR AND ROMANTIC CIRCUMSTANCES. AFTER A PRIVATE MARRIAGE AT ST MARYLEBONE PARISH CHURCH AND A SECRET DEPARTURE FROM HER HOME, SHE ACCOMPANIED HER HUSBAND TO THE ITALIAN PENINSULA, WHICH BECAME HER HOME ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY UNTIL HER DEATH, AND WITH THE POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS OF WHICH SHE AND HER HUSBAND BOTH THOROUGHLY IDENTIFIED THEMSELVES.

BROWNING IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED THE GREATEST OF ENGLISH POETESSES. HER WORKS ARE FULL OF TENDER AND DELICATE SENTIMENTS, UNDERPINNED BY STRONG AND PROFOUND THOUGHT. HER OWN SUFFERINGS, COMBINED WITH HER MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL STRENGTH, MADE HER THE CHAMPION OF THE SUFFERING AND OPPRESSED WHEREVER SHE FOUND THEM. HER GIFT WAS ESSENTIALLY LYRICAL, THOUGH MUCH OF HER WORK WAS NOT SO IN FORM. HER WEAK POINTS ARE THE LACK OF COMPRESSION, AN OCCASIONAL SOMEWHAT OBTRUSIVE MANNERISM, AND FREQUENT FAILURE BOTH IN METRE AND RHYME.

HER MOST FAMOUS WORK IS SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE, A COLLECTION OF LOVE SONNETS WRITTEN BY BROWNING BUT DISGUISED AS A TRANSLATION. BY FAR THE MOST FAMOUS POEM FROM THIS COLLECTION, WITH ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS OPENING LINES IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, IS NUMBER 43:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SONNET 43 - HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS BY

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.

I LOVE THEE TO THE DEPTH AND BREADTH AND HEIGHT
MY SOUL CAN REACH, WHEN FEELING OUT OF SIGHT

FOR THE ENDS OF BEING AND IDEAL GRACE.

I LOVE THEE TO THE LEVEL OF EVERYDAY'S

MOST QUIET NEED, BY SUN AND CANDLE-LIGHT.
I LOVE THEE FREELY, AS MEN STRIVE FOR RIGHT;

I LOVE THEE PURELY, AS THEY TURN FROM PRAISE.

I LOVE THEE WITH THE PASSION PUT TO USE

IN MY OLD GRIEFS, AND WITH MY CHILDHOOD'S FAITH.

I LOVE THEE WITH A LOVE I SEEMED TO LOSE
WITH MY LOST SAINTS,—I LOVE THEE WITH THE BREATH,
SMILES, TEARS, OF ALL MY LIFE!—AND, IF GOD CHOOSE,

I SHALL BUT LOVE THEE BETTER AFTER DEATH.


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[1]Tan, Paul Lee: Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers. Garland TX : Bible Communications, 1996, c1979

[2]Osbeck, Kenneth W.: Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Kregel Publications, 1990, S. 350

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