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Be Still

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Shhhh….video

How quickly priorities can change (Kearney Storm)

How quickly our priorities can change.  One minute we can be stressing about bills and finances, and the next we are huddled in a basement praying over our loved ones as the winds are crashing the glass in the rooms upstairs.  One minute we are worrying about a client or upcoming job, and the next we are standing in a hospital room with a loved one and suddenly clients and jobs are the last things on our minds.  It seems as though the shocks and jolts of life have a way of sifting our priorities from months and years of getting them jumbled up.  What is really important in life? 

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” 

The pace of life

Two ministerial students from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, were doing summer evangelistic work in a rural area near Montgomery. One hot day they stopped their car in front of a farmhouse and proceeded up the path through a gauntlet of screaming children and barking dogs. When they knocked on the screen door, the woman of the house stopped her scrubbing over a tub and washboard, brushed back her hair, wiped perspiration from her brow, and asked them what they wanted.

"We would like to tell you how to obtain eternal life," one student answered.

The tired homemaker hesitated for a moment and then replied, "Thank you, but I don't believe I could stand it."

We have our radios, cell phones, laptop computers.

The more we strive to get done, the more we find to do. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “man lives his life in quiet desperation.” 

John Piper remarked that today he would likely say “man lives his life in noisy or chaotic desperation.”

33% of Americans say they are too busy.

  In data collected from over 20,000 Christians in 139 countries (though mostly in America) and between the ages of 15 and 88, The Obstacles to Growth Survey found that, on average, more than 4 in 10 Christians around the world say they "often" or "always" rush from task to task. About 6 in 10 Christians say that it's "often" or "always" true that "the busyness of life gets in the way of developing my relationship with God." Christians most likely to agree were from North America, Africa, and Europe.

While busyness afflicts both men and women, the distraction from God was more likely to affect men than women in every surveyed continent except North America, where 62 percent of women and 61 percent of men reported busyness as interfering with their relationship with God.

By profession, pastors were most likely to say they rush from task to task (54 percent), which adversely affects their relationship with God (65 percent).

"It's tragic and ironic: the very people who could best help us escape the bondage of busyness are themselves in chains," said Dr. Michael Zigarelli, who conducted the study at the Charleston Southern University School of Business.

John Ortberg - “When do you think life will slow down?”

Stop, “Be still.”  And know that he is God.

God is found in the whisper (1 Kings 19:9-13)

Be Still – God is our Hope

Psalm 46:1-3

1To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah(ESV)

Be still because God is our Hope

Life does not consist of our control over tomorrow.

Working for retirement – (nothing wrong with being wise)

The Peace that passes understanding.

It is supposed that this psalm comes from the victory of Judah over the Assyrian army as the army of the Lord came to their rescue.

Consider the idea that trials come to refine our faith.  That our faith may be unwavering and rest secure on our future hope. 

Fear as a primary determinant of our priorities.

Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Illustrate)

God is our very great reward.

Be Still – God is our Help

Psalm 46:4-7

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. 6The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah(ESV)

Be still because God is our help.

Life does not consist of the abundance of riches

Where does our help come from?  Where is the first place we turn?

Its okay to have things, just do not let things have you

The flypaper and the fly – beware of coveteousness, of thinking that life consists of the things in this world.

The rich fool  (Luke 12)

Being better off does not make you better.

Be Still – God Will Be Exalted

Life does not consist of the abundance of personal praise.

God is the priority of life.  Our life is but a breath. 

Psalm 73:12-2512Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. 18Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. 21When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. 23Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.(ESV)

Revelation 4 – the elders casting their crowns at the feet of Jesus.

Psalm 46:8-11

8Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. 9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. 10“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah(ESV)

Philippians 2:1-11

1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(ESV)

The examples of life

1 & 2 Kings “He did what was evil/good in the eyes of the Lord”

Hebrews 13:7-8

Rock stars – Sports stars-Movie stars (Fathead)

Remember your leaders.  Bible leaders…church leaders:  Lee

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The God Lee served is the God you serve. 

Conclusion

A few years ago, I received a phone call at my desk. A girl in the college department called to say that her car had broken down and she was stranded about two miles from the office. So, I drove over to the location and found her leaning against her car, looking flustered.

I leaned against the car next to her and asked what happened.

"Well, I was just driving down the road and it quit running," she said. "So I pulled off to the shoulder."

"Could you be out of gas?" I asked.

"No, I just filled it up."

Well, that one question pretty well exhausted my automotive diagnostic abilities, but I persisted. "What happened? Did it make any noises?"

"Oh, yeah," she replied. "As I was driving down the hill, it went 'brump, brump, brump, POW!'"

In an effort to be an active listener I reflected back to her, "You say the car went 'brump, brump, brump, POW!'?"

"Yep."

I was feeling a little more confident, so I asked, "When was the last time you changed the oil?"

She gave me this quizzical look and said, "Oil?" As it turned out, she had owned the car for a year and a half and never changed the oil.

There Jesus is, exhausted, gaunt, and thin…starving in the wilderness.  Satan shows him a rock and says, “You could turn this to bread.”  Imagine starving and seeing a warm, butter toasted roll held in front of you and all you have to do is take it.  You have the power and the ability…it is right there.  Is it wrong to eat bread?  Is it wrong to fill a hungry stomach?  Of course not!  But this encounter is not about food, its about priorities.  Jesus looks at the deceiver and says, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  Is that true?  Is our love for God and our need for him greater than the need of bread to a starving man? 

Part of becoming a Christian is making the good confession.  Do you know what the good confession is?  Some believe it is proclaiming Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God.   That’s true, but that is not the good confession.  Some believe it is declaring that Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died and rose again on the third day.  That’s central to our faith, but its not the good confession. 

John 18:3737Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”(ESV)

because, if myou confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord[1]

uthe blessed and only Sovereign, vthe King of kings and Lord of lords[2]

Be still, God is our hope, God is our help, God will be exalted.


----

m Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8; [1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11]

[1]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 10:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

u ch. 1:11

v See Rev. 17:14

[2]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Ti 6:15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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