From the Pastor's Desk 

Be Still and Know

5-13-18

 

            Let's pray.

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            God gives us amazing peace for our lives.  We are able to experience the peace of God in the midst of the most horrific storms of life.  Let's be honest with ourselves:  life certainly has a lot of storms that it throws at us.  It is a great blessing to be a mother, but it's not at all an easy role to fill in life.  There are great moments, fun moments, proud moments and plenty of joy.  There is also heartache, disappointment and sleepless nights.  Being a mother certainly runs the gamut of highs and lows, ups and downs, good and bad and everything in between.

            If you would look at the bookmark that we passed out to our mothers, you will see that on the front it quotes Ps. 46:10.  "Be still and know that I am God."  On the back there's a prayer.  "Father, teach me to be still and know that you are God.  Deepen my confidence in your promise that your favor rests upon me because of Jesus and His cross.  Let your peace flood my heart and fill my life right now and always.  Help me to live in this moment, my Saviors gift to me.  Amen."  Then at the bottom it quotes John 14:27.  "Peace I leave with you My peace I give unto you." 

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            There are three truths that we can glean from this that not only applies to being a mother, but that we can all apply to our lives.  First of all, we need to be still.  In the original language, the phrase "be still" means to release or to let go. 

            That's a lot easier said than done in life.  It is especially hard to release and let go of things when we're dealing with the difficulties and the troubles and the problems that we face on a daily basis.  How do you release a wayward child?  How do you let go of heartache that keeps you up at night?  How can we be still when we can't pay the bills or when the doctor tells us that we have cancer? 

            We can be still in those times because we serve, love and follow a big God.  We serve a God who created the universe.  We love a God who is sovereign over all that exists.  We follow a God who created us, who loves us, who died for us and who knows exactly what is going on in our lives and why.

            Ps. 4:4.  Reflect in your heart and be still.  When the going gets tough and it is tough, that's when we need to sit back and reflect on God and on who He is.  How do we deal with a wayward child?  We don't; but we can go to God and lift that child up and have every expectation and hope that things will turn out OK whatever OK is according to God's will.  How do we respond when money is tight and it doesn't look like you can pay the bills?  It is good to engage in proper money management techniques, but otherwise we go to God do what we can in obedience to Him and trust it will work out knowing that He is a God of great provision and that everything belongs to Him in the first place.  It can be devastating to receive bad medical news.  But even then, we can turn to God and be still in His presence knowing that He is a God who heals and even if that healing isn't in this life on this earth, He can and does and will heal us perfectly when it is our time to go be with Him.  It is because of who God is that we can be still in the midst of the problems and difficulties of life.

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            A second truth that we find here is that we need to be confident.  Not only through the good and bad and everything in between in life can we be still, but we can also have the utmost confidence.  We're of course not talking about a self-confidence in who we are that can lead to arrogance and pride; we're talking about confidence to be able to handle life because of God and who He is.  Ps. 71:5.

            As Christians we are God's children.  He has adopted us into His family to share His name, His blessings and eventually His inheritance.  We shouldn't be sinfully proud about that fact.  But we should be grateful and thankful to God for all that He has done for us spiritually, and for all that He does for us in many other ways.

            Because of who God is; because of who we are in Him, that should give us confidence in life to live the way He wants us to live.  My identity, my worth and understanding of who I am as a person has to be centered and grounded in my relationship with Christ.  Outside of Jesus I am a wretched sinner who is doomed to hell for eternity.  As a born again believer, I am a child of God who has an eternal heaven waiting for him someday.  It is Christ who gives me meaning and purpose and significance.

            Because I have been saved and forgiven, I am able to live my life for God.  When I serve, I can serve with confidence knowing that I am doing the Lord's work of trying to meet the needs of people less fortunate.  When I minister, I can do that with confidence knowing that God is using me to make a difference in people's lives.  When I witness, I can share the gospel with confidence knowing that I have life saving news that people need to hear.  When I am dealing with difficult people who don't like me, I can engage them with confidence knowing that I am who I am and this is the way God made me.  If people don't like that, that's something they are going to have to deal with, as long as it's not because of sin I need to repent of.

            So as you live and as you face all that life throws your way, be confident always in who you are in Christ.

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            The last truth that we're going to look at this morning is that we need to live in the present.  I think this is where the peace of God comes into play.  Let's look again at John 14:27.  Peace is wholeness in our relationship with God.  As his children, we have peace with God because our sins have been forgiven.  We also have the peace of God guarding our lives.

            When the world says "peace," it is an expression of hope and goodwill.  But when Jesus said that He was going to give peace to His disciples, much more was involved.  He gave to them a peace of mind in the midst of trials and persecutions.  Troubled refers to the natural emotion that might seize them at the thought of a hopeless situation.  Afraid is the danger of a cowardly course of conduct resulting from that emotion.  We don't need to be so afraid of something that we freeze up and fail to act because of what we fear the consequences to be.  That's not what Jesus created us to be or how He created us to act.

            Because of His peace, we can live in the present.  Live in the here and now.  Jesus has forgiven you of all of your sins.  You don't have to keep dwelling on the past and beating yourself up over what you have done.  That's over and that's gone; don't let it keeping bugging and dogging you. 

            Because of His peace, we also don't have to worry about the future.  Who knows what's going to happen down the road, let alone tomorrow?  Only God knows.  That's the good news:  He does know!  We don't have to worry; we don't have to fret; we don't have to stew over what might come.  All we need to do is live today; do our best to serve others and glorify the Lord and be still in His presence knowing that whatever happens, God has this!  His peace that passes all understanding enables us to do that.

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            Mothers, we thank you for who you are and for what you do.  As you face and deal with all that life throws at you, remember to be still in the presence of the Lord; be confident in who you are in the Lord; live in the present.

            As our singers and musicians come now, we invite you to respond this morning to anything God may be doing in or through your life.  If you need to make some sort of public profession we invite you to do that now as we stand and sing.

 

            Prayer.