Men's Fellowship and Study 06/20/2012 7 AM
1 A Psalm of David. I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You. 2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. 3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul. 4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, When they hear the words of Your mouth. 5 Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, For great is the glory of the Lord. 6 Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. 8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
"Your level of Thanksgiving is like taking your spiritual pulse" Unkown
In the book No More Mondays, by Dan Miller, there is recounted the comic strip of Charlie Brown. In this strip he says:
"In one of my all-time favorite Peanuts cartoons, Charlie Brown complains to Linus that every day his lunch is the same. When Linus asks Charlie Brown who makes his lunch, Charlie Brown says. "I do".
Today's meeting was insightful. Is it possible that our attitude is keeping us bound to situations that we've ALREADY been delivered from? Have we sometimes been in our situation SO LONG that we have lost sight of the truth because of the facts? This story in 2 Kings expounds.
2 Kings 7:7-17
8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. 9 Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king's household." 10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, "We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound--only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact." 11 And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king's household inside. 12 So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, "Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, 'When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.' " 13 And one of his servants answered and said, "Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see." 14 Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, "Go and see." 15 And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 17 Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him.
1 A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. 2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. 6 I said, "You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. 7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes." 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.
We are God's kids! Created in the Image and Likeness of God! We were bought with a price, and our value is determined by the one who paid for us and the price that was paid. We are worthy because HE deemed us worthy. We have EVERYTHING to be thankful for. When we allow things to come into our mindset and thinking that take us away from time with God or trust in Him, those things, however simple, are idols to us. We must remind ourselves who we are IN HIM and what price was paid for us. If Christ died to redeem us, you don't think he'd just as concerned with our light-bill?
The last verse of Psalms 138 says:
Psalm 1388 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
- Perfect: Mature, bring to Completion, finish, bring to pass.
- Concerns Me: The primary message of concern is NOT worry. Concern means that which relates to, belongs to, affects the passions of, or in the interest of a person, place, or thing.
The LORD is deeply interested in me. He's not only touched by my worries. He's got my whole life on his mind. He's got His plans, which I haven't even fathomed yet, on His mind. He's endeavoring to bring me to the place that he can use me to heal a broken and dying world.
He will bring to completion the plans He has for me. And they are good plans! Jer 29:11. I have SO MUCH to be thankful for! So as I pray about the upcoming month ahead maybe I should ask Him what to pray for, instead of just barreling down my list of needs.
Jeremy Pearsons tells the story of how he first had to fly as his own ministry. The cost was estimated at $6,000. But rather than just barreling off several confessions, or choosing another mode of transportation as the cost was prohibitive, he and Sarah decided to pray about what to pray about. "Lord, how would you have us believe you for this?" Not only did the Lord tell them an amount to believe that was different than the estimate, only $4,000, which was still high. But they Lord sent the Check for $4,000 in the mail BEFORE they asked him for the amount! The Lord will BRING TO PASS that which RELATED to us!
Another parting thought. Jesse Duplantis says: "You can't have what you speak against." That means you can't have promotion in a company that you complain about. You can't have a good marriage with a wife that you complain about. You can't have a good relationship with a dog that you complain about. Anything that you speak against will not work for you but against you. It's the nature of the Words we were born with. This attitude of gratitude, and thanksgiving is SO important. We must make it our aim, and our goal, that we NEVER say anything negative. Will we always succeed? No. But it must be our goal.
Bill told us about this great video. It's not posted to be a spiritual video. It was posted as a simple "How To" for axe sharpening. But there are SO many spiritual things we can learn from it. For example, we must keep the metal cool while sharpening it, otherwise it will loose it's temper. The temper is the strength of the metal, which allows it to keep it's sharp edge. Amazing. How often have we gotten hot and angry and lost our "Temper" as Christians? What a great life lesson.
That's all my notes from today, what a great meeting! Remember, Thanksgiving is the key to a long, happy, and joy filled life.
I call you empowered 2 prosper with good success!