1. When We Pause To Consider
It is amazing to me how quickly time passes. It is hard to believe that two months have passed since we planted the garden. We watch the honey bees buzzing around the blossoms, as we pick the vegetables in the morning, and see the lightning bugs light up the sky in our evening walks to the garden. We enjoy the taste of the fresh squash and beans, and we watch the tiny okra growing a little each day with anticipation. The tomato vines are hanging full with green tomatoes and daily we look for them to start turning red. When we consider all these things, it is obvious that summer is here. We can make wise observations and better decisions when we take time to consider what is going on around us. Pastor Jack Tripp used the first few verses of Isaiah in his sermon recently, and I want to share some of the points from his message using Isaiah 1:3 as his text, "... My People Doth Not Consider."
2. If We Consider The Pit Where God Found Us, We Would Be More Humble
There are so many verses on the sin of pride in the Bible. "A proud look" is first on the list of things God hates listed in Proverbs 6:17. When we consider where God brought us from we realize that we have nothing to boast of, because all that we are or ever hope to be, is because of God's amazing grace. We were nothing, lost in the darkness of sin without hope, and He lifted us up in love and brought us into the light to give us a new life. This is the first point in the sermon, "My People Doth Not Consider" (Isaiah 1:3), If we consider the pit where God found us, we would be more humble. I am currently reading in the book of Ezekiel in my Bible reading and on two occasions when Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord he fell on his face. (Ezekiel 1:28 and 3:23) When we consider how low we are, and how high God is, we will humble ourselves in His sight.
"1 <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD." (Psalm 40:1-3)
3. If We Consider The Price That Was Paid For Our Redemption We Would Be More Thankful
Today we are reminded to consider Jesus Christ our Savior and how He gave His life to save us from our sin. The writer of Hebrews tells us to "consider him..."
"1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." (Hebrews 12:1-3)
We think about the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter, and we often take time to give him thanks in November on our special day of Thanksgiving. But, if we stopped to consider the great price Jesus paid, with His precious blood, on a cruel cross, we would be more thankful in our daily lives.
"19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
"18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," (I Peter 1:18-20)
Have you thanked Him today?
4. If We Consider The Provisions God Gives Us We Would Be More Restful
I really like the song, "Consider The Lilies" by Joel Hemphill. Michael and I sang it recently, and we were blessed when Preacher Jack Tripp used these verses in his sermon.
"25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:25-33)
When we worked with the children at church many years ago we taught them the little song, "Why Worry When You Can Pray?" It would help us to keep that message in mind when things come our way that cause us to worry. God has been so good to us and supplied our needs through many years. If we consider the provisions He has given, and how He continues to supply, we would be more restful. "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." (I Samuel 12:24)
5. If We Consider Our Position As Sons Of God We Would Be More Joyful
There is a magnet sheet on my refrigerator that has 30 little faces with different expressions ranging from "Happy" to "Sad" and including all different kinds of emotions. From time to time my family visitors will place the marker over their choice of "feeling" for the day. I like to look and see if they are "Ecstatic" or "Hopeful". Right now it is on "Exhausted" and I think it was put there by one of the mothers. God has given us a whole realm of emotional feelings and I am a very emotional person. I can go from one to another in just a few seconds. As Christians, rich or poor, young or old, we have a life in Christ that the world cannot claim. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, God welcomes us into His family and we become sons of God. If we stop and consider this we would surely be more joyful.
"12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)
"1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:1-2)
6. If We Consider The Power Of The Holy Ghost We Would Be More Fruitful
As I share this point from Preacher Tripp's sermon I am praying that it will help me to be more fruitful. I was always very shy growing up and found it difficult to talk to anyone other than close friends. I want to be a witness for my Lord and tell others about my Savior, but I have a hard time thinking of the right words to say. It does not come naturally to me. But, I should realize that spiritual things do not come easy for the natural man. Paul told the Corinthian believers that "...There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." (I Corinthian 15:44) And Jesus told Nicodemus, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6) When we consider the power of the Holy Ghost and stop trying to rely on our own power, Christ can accomplish great things through us.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:4-5)
7. If We Consider The Possibility Of Christ's Soon Return We Would Be More Watchful
Ever since I was a child I have heard preachers say that Jesus is coming soon. I helped my Grandmother Beasley sing the song, "Jesus Is Coming Soon" forty-five years ago. And I believed it, but I have never felt Christ's return as imminent as I do today. The more I read in the Bible about the last days, the more I see the scriptures fulfilled. Jesus could come back today! Are you ready?
"32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:32-44)
8. Consider The Mighty Works Of God
We have completed the notes from Pastor Tripp's Sermon, and today I want to consider the mighty works of God. "Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God." (Job 37:14) Many believe Job to be the oldest book of the Bible and some of the wondrous works of creation are listed in this old book. In the book of Job we can read of fierce creatures that are now extinct, such as unicorns (Job 39:9-10), dragons (Job 30:29), and a great sea creature called leviathan (Job 41:1). If we stop to consider all the mighty works of creation we would surely see the greatness of our God. But, I want to look at the mighty works God is doing today in the hearts of people in Burlington, NC. A revival meeting started in New Hope Baptist Church, Burlington, NC (I believe on Mother's Day, 2016) and many called on the Lord for salvation. The crowd outgrew the church and a tent was set up for the growing numbers. They are going into week nine next Tuesday and 500 men, women, and children have confessed and prayed at the altars for salvation. People are traveling from several states to be a part of this meeting. During their special Friday Youth Service there were 5,000 in attendance. We need to consider this mighty work of God and pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work and blow across our nation. In reading through Ezekiel I noticed that over and over God said, "They shall know that I am the Lord..." I pray that God will continue to move with His convicting power across our country so that people today will know that He is the Lord! Of all the things we are told to consider in the Word of God, we find the most important one in Deuteronomy 4:39, "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." Have you considered Almighty God and His wondrous works?