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September 26, 2013

Text: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalms 27: 13-14

What do you seek and yearn for in life? Do you seek riches? Do you seek lavish furniture and clothing? Or,  maybe a palatial home. How about power and success?  Do you want prestige and fame? And, oh yes, happiness?

Think of some of the things you had in your “bucket list” as a kid. Here are some of my hankerings. (Don’t laugh.) I craved a Schwinn Phantom bicycle. I wanted a .22 automatic rifle (for hunting squirrels). When I was a teenager I wanted to marry a girl I was dating (only we would have to wait till I finished college). Of  course, a ’48 Mercury, customized and chopped. Of these I got nary  a one. It was amazing how none of these mattered 10 years later.

Why did all of these dreams become inconsequential? Answer: I was focusing on the wrong goal!  Our selfish priorities blind us to more important issues. Satan loves to keep us distracted. (And he does a great job of it!) Look at the first paragraph above. Are these the things that matter most? Most everyone thinks so. In the 1959 movie Operation Petticoat Tony Curtis  tells Cary Grant about his quest for money. He says, “When I was a kid, I was the victim of the most vicious propaganda. People told me that money wasn’t everything and I believed it.” His values were upside down. That is a condition that all people are vulnerable to. Yes, Christians too!

Nevertheless, God knows our needs and supplies them! Jesus tells us how to handle this in Matthew 6:32. “…and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Our God unselfishly and impartially grants us an abundance of his blessings. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 So Jesus insists that if our spiritual values are correct, our material blessings will fall into place.

Remove the blindfold over your eyes and  recognize  the blessings provided to you by God. See things as they are. Sort out the material and spiritual blessings given you, and evaluate how much your spiritual blessings are truly worth. Give thanks to God for both groups. Reset your sights on the spiritual ones and redirect efforts to those. 

There are two great insights into a gracious Lord in our text.

David, who wrote this, expresses his appreciation of the Lord’s blessings in this life. The goodness of the Lord is not just for eternity. It is real and can be appreciated here on earth during our lifetimes. Just look carefully and God’s gifts to you are visible (Do you appreciate them?) These blessing are apparent and the Lord should hear our      thankfulness. Consider God’s generosity and enjoy his bounteous wonders.

Second, David pleads for us to ” Wait for the Lord“. Could the reason he wrote this be that we humans are impatient? We want it now! The ever-practical James scorches men about their desires, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:2c-3 We must exercise patience for the beneficence of God. Be forbearing to God’s timetable.

Remember that God will bestow  benevolently, listen for our thanksgiving, and watch our stewardship regarding his mercies.

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