14 November 2007

"Blessed Be"--he who trusts the LORD (part 3)

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.


Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust. For SALVATION. For SUPPLY. For STABILITY. And finally God will make that man His SERVANT.
Psalm 84:9-12.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Think about what it means to be a servant of God. Imagine seeing this ad for a job: You have to give up your old life, your old habits. There’s a lot of studying, a lot of on-the-job training. In some parts of the world, your work is against the law, and can cost you your life. Every week there’s a conference. In reality, you never have a day off, or any vacation time. In fact, most of His servants have to work on Sundays. The pay—if any—isn't always great. Many times you need to rely on the kindness of strangers. And you always have people trying to argue with you and make you quit your job.

It doesn’t sound like a very good deal. Until you consider the retirement plan! Right now, our Boss is building us a mansion in His Father’s house. It’s in a brand new city. There’s a stream filled with water of life running through the middle of it, with fruit trees on either side. You don’t need health insurance because you're never going to get sick! And guess what? We get to hang out with our Boss forever! We’re going to meet people like Abraham, and Moses, and David and Solomon and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And best of all, we will be in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The one who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins! That’s better than anything anybody’s 401(k) plan could promise!

You don’t hear many people saying they want to be a servant. But who will be the greatest in that kingdom of Heaven? Jesus answers that question in Matthew 20:26-28. Anybody know what happens in John 13? Our Lord Jesus Christ—who had already left His throne in glory to come in the likeness of men, and had wrapped Himself in sinful flesh, and had taken on the form of a servant—He then stoops down as far as He can go. He puts even His garment aside, wraps Himself in a towel, stoops down, and washes those 24 dirty, dusty, smelly, filthy feet. And yes, He even washed the feet of the one who would betray Him. Blessed is the man whom God makes His servant!

Listen to what these great men of God had to say about themselves:
Romans 1:1--Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle…
Philemon 1:1—Paul and Timothy, prisoners of our Lord Jesus Christ.
James 1:1, 2nd Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1—...a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, if all these men—who had the immeasurable privilege of being spoken to by the Holy Spirit, to write down the words of God that we have in this precious book—if these men called themselves bondservants and slaves and prisoners, how much more are we servants, slaves and prisoners? If our Lord Jesus Christ came to serve—not to be served—how much more should our hearts be set on serving. Let him who would be the greatest among you be your servant. Jesus said in Matthew 23:12--"And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Amen to that. Friends, the greatest honor one can have is to be called a servant of the living God. In fact, if you read the story of Daniel in the lions’ den, the first thing that King Darius says when he gets to the door, he says, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve, delivered you from the lions?” Daniel said, “You're doggone right He did!” Speaking of servants, many people don’t understand what a deacon is. A deacon is a servant. “Deacon” comes from the Greek word “diakonos”, which literally means “One who serves.”

Let me just finish up with this. “Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere.” Here’s the really cool part about that: the Psalmist is not talking about spending just any old day in God’s courts. This is what he’s saying: in the Old Testament it would be the Sabbath day. The day when everything else ceases, and everybody went to the temple to worship the one true living God. In our day, it would refer to Sunday, the day when we gather in church, to hold worship services for that same God. And what the psalmist is saying is, “If you gave me the choice of hearing the preaching of God’s word for one day, and then I would be killed, it would be far better than living for a thousand years surrounded by evil.” Can I get a witness?

Blessed is the man whose trust is in the LORD. He will receive SALVATION, SUPPLY, STABILITY, and he will be given the privilege of being called God’s SERVANT.

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