Faithlife Sermons

In A World Filled with Evil

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I. Welcome
II. Opening Prayer
III. Worship
A. Songs:
a. “Blow the Trumpet”
b. “He’s the Lion of the tribe of Judah”
c. "I Am who You Say I Am”
d. "The Blessing”
e. Song b4 Offering: “Goodness Of God”
B. Offering:
a. 3 ways to give
1. online: greenmtn.org
2. text the word “give” to (833) 966-2042
i. already gave via text: just text the amount to that same #
3. mail a check to 440 Main St. in Bennington
b. Next Week:
c. Song: "How Great the Father’s Love”
IV. Announcement
A. Gathering Next Week
B. Offering differences
Sermon
INTRO
I. The Current Crisis
A. Seems like the world is coming unglued
a. COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Maybe once wasn’t enough for 2020…we may have sequel in the fall
b. Police brutality
1. Yes, I support the “boys in blue”, but I do not support “those boys in blue”
i. when those who r commissioned 2 act justly act unjustly that is evil
c. Rioting in response
1. Yes, I do support one’s so-called “right to protest”
i. But looting is not protesting
ii. destruction is not protesting
iii. defacing other’s property is not protesting
iv. violence is not protesting
-Lawlessness is also evil
-Doing what is right in our own eyes rather than what God says is right is evil
B. So, what’ do we do?
a. What is a Jesus Follower’s response?
b. How should we as a church respond?
II. Possible Responses
A. Worry
B. Envy
C. Anger
D. Wrath
E. Ignore it
a. King David gives some great advice 2 God’s people that we can take 2 heart & is found in Ps 37
1. Let’s start w/ David’s response on...
III. What not to do?
Psalm 37:1–2 ESV
1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! 2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
A. Don’t Fret
a. lit: anger; worry; agitated
1. we need to stop the agitated worry
2. fret looks like those times when we have an issue that we keep replaying in our mind
i. It operates like a song caught on replay.
-We go over it over & over & over
*What if i said this; what if this happens I should have…over & over again
b. David says don’t give in to agitated worry
B. Don’t Envy:
a. Lit: admire / desire what others do/have
1. As God’s people, we should not b prone to / the desire of ill-gotten gains
i. David continues to shed some light on what not to do in...
Psalm 37:8–9 ESV
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. 9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
C. we must not give in2 anger & act in wrath
a. Consider that fretting (our agitated worry) only leads 2 doing evil (why?)
1. A thing only produces more o itself
i. dogs produce dogs
ii. Cats produce cats
iii. humans produce humans
iv. anger produces more anger
v. wrath produces more wrath
vi. violence more violence
b. So what do we do…we have 2 replace our worry, envy, & anger w/something!
1. King David has some great encouragement in ps 37:3-7
i. This is where we’re going 2 spend the bulk o our time 2day
-Let’s read...
IV. Main Text
Psalm 37:3–7 ESV
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
V. Pray
BODY
I. Trust in God
Psalm 37:3 ESV
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
A. Everything else we talk about 2day hinges on this 1 point: Trust GOD!!!
a. I don’t @ all mean trust God that nothing bad will happen
1. the lives of the Apostles r filled w/bad things happening 2 'em
b. We trust God that he is @ work in the bad things & that he’s still in charge
Romans 8:28–29 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
1. God’s sovereignty is so sure that he works all things (even what is meant 4 evil) for our good & his purposes
i. This kind of trust produces...
B. trust produces just actions
a. It’s what David means by “do good”
C. trust produces faithfulness
a. as we trust God we remain in the land “Stay where we’re called” & faithful 2 continue what he’s lead us to do
1. “the Land” points back to the land promised to Isr.
i. It’s a reminder of both God’s promise & calling
-The land was promised to Isr. & also calling 2 clear it & take possession o it
2. God has called GMCC Bennington 2 occupy & expand His Kingdom through
i. loving our neighbors
ii. prayerfully storming the spiritual strongholds
iii. & making more Jesus Followers
b. Illust. while in min. @a place, going through a tough time (where doesn’t matter)
1. Really struggling & God showed me this vs especially
Psalm 37:3 ESV
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
2. God was telling me to stay faithful where he called me which was what trust in action looked like then…
3. & 2 stay where he called me till he told me 2 do something diff.
i. During these uncertain times, God is calling us 2 stand firm in our love
ii. Don’t give in2 anger, but trust God
iii. none of this season’s happenings has caught God off guard
II. Delight in God
Psalm 37:4 ESV
4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
A. Delight is 2 take pleasure / satisfaction in a thing / person
a. David is encouraging God’s people 2 satisfy ourselves in God…find enjoyment in fellowship w/ HIM
b. delighting in is also 2 praise God
1. That is, rejoicing in who God is & what he does
i. Apostle Paul, thousands o yrs later, said it this way:
Philippians 4:4 ESV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
2. In the middle of worry, have ya ever tried to sing songs 2 Jesus…/even just thank HIM 4 all the cool things he’s done & how good he is
i. That’s why I love the song 10,000reasons which says “Bless the lord my soul”
-Some times we gotta tell our soul to stop & focus on what matters
-In those times we gotta tell our soul, “Soul ur goin’ ta bless the lord 2day”
c. does that mean if we sing songs 2 Jesus we get whatever we want?
1. If we truly find our satisfaction in God & enjoyment in fellowship w/him our desires will begin 2 align w/God’s desires & so he will b happy 2 give us those desires
i. That is, if we delight ourselves in God & fellowship w/him, we’ll desire more o him & he will gladly give more o himself 2 us
B. grounding this in context:
a. We must remember that David encourages us not 2 envy what the evil person has (ill-gotten gains)
1. I used to struggle w/this
i. Illust. “as long as I could remember, all I ever wanted 2b was a gangster”
- I would see the big houses, heaps o money, so called respect that the mobsters gained through bootlegging…& that’s what I wanted!
2. David challenges us...rather than envying what evil has, thinking that makes a person happy
i. We should delight ourselves in God…seeking him 4 what we desire
ii. Jesus said it this way
Matthew 6:33 ESV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
iii. Jesus rescued me frm my “stinkin’ thinkin” & renewed my mind
-Now, I seek & trust God for my desires
*Illust. : Norm’s New Ford
-W/that said, we gotta trust God when he answers: NO…or not yet
III. Commit your way to God
Psalm 37:5 ESV
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
A. Commit: Dedicate/trust entirely 2
a. even as we c evil prospering in their way, David encourages God’s people 2 trustingly dedicate our life’s decisions & direction 2 God
1. even when it looks like their way produces success &...
2. God’s seems 2 produce pain, poverty, etc.
i. we must entirely trust God for the results
-Solomon, David’s son said it this way in...
Proverbs 16:9 ESV
9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
b. What we c is a partnership btwn God & his servant in the direction that she/he should go
1. When we trustingly dedicate life’s decisions 2 God...
B. God promises 2 act
a. lit. make, produce
1. how will he act?
Psalm 37:6 ESV
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
b. When we r faithful & continue 2 do good, living out the plan God has 4 us God will shine a light on our justice (just actions & sound decisions)
1. Let’s not fret over false accusations, lies, slander, mis-understandings…allow God, by His H.S., 2 lead us as we...
i. trust God w/ our reputation
ii. trust God w/ how others c us
iii. trust God w/ the outcome
IV. Be still & wait
Psalm 37:7 ESV
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
A. So often, we find ourselves comparing our success w/ the prosperity o others
a. This is an easy trap 4 pastors to fall in2
1. comparing smaller church gatherings w/ bigger 1’s
2. How their events r going compared 2 ours
3. folks in 1 church leaving 4 another
4. We can start comparing our “success” (/lack o) w/theirs…
i. not 2 mention if we c some1 gaining “success” by /through unethical/immoral ways &
5. we find ourselves looking 2 God & saying, “hey, what’s up w/that!?”
i. start 2 get bitter, disenfranchised, angry…or we think “sure, I can do that too”
b. David encourages God’s people NOT 2 compare our lives & success at all
1. instead, be still: (stop talking, chill, hush, & wait)
i. the action o waiting in stillness IS trust in action
ii. people struggling to trust God get frantic, scrambling.
iii. David says, “chill out, stop the frantic chattering, & trust God”
- Being still & waiting doesn’t mean sit on the couch like a lazy bum; NO!!
B. Being Still & waiting is where we find fellowship w/God
a. Consider a similar vs (u may know it) found in...
Psalm 46:10 ESV
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
1. It’s there in the stillness that we come to know God…
i. where we fellowship w/him & get 2 know him better
b. If instead we get caught up in all the frantic fixing, defending positions, & angry yammering we’ll miss fellowship w/God
1. When I’m not careful, when things happen that worry me I have a tendency 2 fixate on it
i. How will I respond, what will I say…I go over the situation like a song in my play list caught in repeat (remember that word “fret”?)
-I try to pray & I end up just worrying instead
c. But, When I force my self to be still & wait on God…there is when & where I find him
1. In those times I find fellowship w/God by his spirit…I get 2 know him better.
2. Illust - last night turning on worship music
i. Holding Abby didn’t have it in me to sing
ii. found myself in fellowship w/God dancing w/my baby girl
iii. Rebekah & I took time dancing w/her as we praised God
Bringing It Home
I. Summing it up
A. In a World of Fear & worry; Jesus Followers trust God
B. In a world delighting in 1’s self; Jesus Followers Delight in God
C. In a world commited 2 their own cause; Jesus Followers commit our way to God
D. In a world of frantic chatter & rash action; Jesus followers are still & wait on God
a. So, why should we Trust, Delight in, Commit our way to, & Be Still & Wait on God
1. Our purpose is found in His promises!!
II. Promises For the Righteous in Christ
A. We will be upheld
Psalm 37:16–17 ESV
16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
a. Upheld: supply w/necessities & support
B. The Best is Yet to Come
Revelation 21:3–5 ESV
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
a. 4now we will have tears, death, mourning, crying & pain
1. We’re experiencing the former things...
i. but it will not always be so
b. Jesus is coming back!!
1. He’ll be w/us in powerful, deep fellowship
2. God will bring about Justice & set all wrongs right!!
3. Under his care & leadership we will find joy, peace, & fellowship
c. Jesus will create a new heaven & earth!!
Revelation 21:10–12 ESV
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—
1. It’s going 2b so awesome that the things we think are amazing, God will use as building material
i. Think about how awesome what’s really precious will be like & we’ll get to enjoy
III. My Hope
A. My hope is that we will think on the promises instead…
a. & that will give us a similar perspective as Paul found in...
Romans 8:18 ESV
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
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