Monday, November 4, 2019

September 8 - Fr. Phil on "The Primacy of the Word"

FR. PHIL EBERHART
SEPT 8, 2019


THE PRIMACY OF THE WORD


This morning our scriptures have shown us a key to the safe passage through this world and into the life that is eternal with the Father of Lights!  WOW,  somehow I missed that!  HA,... that's why I'm here!

God said to Moses on his last day and Joshua on his first day:   Choose you this day, whom you will serve!

Every chance I get it seems I'm always saying something about Willingness, Availability and Obedience.  Here we go again!

Choose You This Day!


What part of our make up do we call our "chooser?"   Our will, right?
Every morning God's mercies are new and we are put the question again:   Are you willing?

When we say, Yes, Lord (vs. No, Lord, the opposite --- the oxymoron) we enter into a new daily adventure with God!  We probably need to stop right after that conversation and get quiet and listen.  Just practice listening - be quiet, until you can hear His whisper.  

Elijah was in the cave and he thought God would come to him in the storm, the lightning, the wind,... but no.
God came to him in the silence - The sound of silence - Be Still and KNOW that I am God.

That's where we start.

Ever been in a one-sided conversation?  Where you have to listen to someone talk - on and on and on and on?

Did you know that there's a 12-step program for preachers?   It's called  On And On Anon!

No comments!  Please.

God often has to be in a one-sided conversation with us - we do all the talking - prayers that go on and on and on!

Rarely do we stop talking and listen.

People say to me, how do I hear God?   

I just look at them and say, "Shut up!"
It's really the very first requirement for hearing God.  You cannot train yourself to hear His Voice while your're talking!
And talking isn't the only noise we have in our life, right? Do you ever stop and listen to all the noise around us?  We are probably the most distracted people in the world, here in the good ol' US of A!!

Which leads me to the next point:

Ps 1 -  Blessed is the person who makes their delight the law of the Lord , and on his law they meditate day and night.

We in the United States have the most Bibles available on the planet,  and are less engaged with it than nearly anywhere on the planet.  Not because it's restricted but because it's so taken for granted.  

Friends,  if you're going to hear God speaking you must... let me say it again... you MUST,  be in his Word!  It's our first AVAILABILITY!  

Availability to God is first availability to His Word.  Oh and that's not the verse if the day!  Nor the Promise Button!  We're a "sound bite" culture in search of a Good who wants us to marinate in His Word! 

Hold up your hand...
Little finger to thumb in order...
Hear
Read
Mark
Learn
Inwardly Digest

God spoke to Joshua about this at the very beginning of his assignment as the replacement for Moses: 

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:6‭-‬8 ESV

God knows the value of His Word in our lives. We sing about it...

More to be desired are they than gold,  yea than much fine gold;  sweeter also than the honey in the honeycomb. 

What Psalm is that?   Ps 19.  
Someone read it aloud from verse 7 to 10.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalms 19:7‭-‬10 ESV

Friends, willingness and availability mean nothing if we're not available to the Word!  But if we're available to God and God's Word,  eventually we're going to run up against something that takes us out of our comfort zone!  Some word, some direction,  some issue where our natural desire runs in an opposite direction from God's "BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH." B.I.B.L E.

When that happens we have to choose again... choose to OBEY GOD.

Jesus was pretty big on this one thing. 

He said it this way at the close of his sermon on the mount: 

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'  And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' 

 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
Matthew 7:21‭-‬27 

Any questions? 

Willingness

Availability

Obedience

All are indispensable ingredients in the life of faith we are called to by God.  Jesus died to give us access to this grace in which we stand and the Holy Spirit is the One "called alongside to help", to coach us and cheer us on in our 'long Obedience in the same direction.' "

The Word is our fuel, our food,  our "daily bread" - the air we're breathing! 
Without it we're desperate.  Starving children. 

One last story. 

A widow and her children in the old country,  were given one way tickets to the new world on a large passenger ship. After booking passage the widow scrimped and saved to get a few morsels of bread,  crackers.  Some cheese and dried meats.  She wrapped them in the folds of her clothing in her luggage.   Each day on the three month long journey she would take a few morsels out for herself and her children.  But as they would go and sit on deck, they saw heaping trays of food carried by the porters every day.  As the trip went on her meager fare ran out and one day she stopped a waiter to ask for some of the food,  explaining that she had run out of her own provisions.

She and her children were immediately taken to the captain's quarters,  where she learned that the tickets that she had been given were full fare tickets,  first class tickets.  

The captain escorted her to the dining room and showed her the chairs that were prepared for her and her children at the captain's table!  The table filled with delicious foods!  And he said to her simply,  "All this comes with your ticket!"

We are starving my dear friends, while surrounded by the richest of fare!  So let us avail ourselves ... make ourselves available to all that God has given us 

And let us then make ourselves willingly available and obedient to God's directions and leading in our day to day!

And let us pray...

Lord Jesus,  let us be a people who know You and who are known by You.
Let us commit our will and our way to You as Lord.  The Captain of our ship!
Grant us to come sit at your table, to feast on Your Word and to be empowered and equipped for all you call us to do in your Kingdom.  And strengthen us to be obedient to listen and do all you ask of us,  for the fame of your Name and for the sake of your Kingdom.   Amen. 

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