November 8, 2015
Stetson Memorial UMC
23rd Psalm NIV
1 John 5:1-5 NIV
“A Safe Place…”
Prayer for the Spirit’s leading…
Read 1John 5:1-5 NIV
1 John 5:1-5New International Version (NIV)
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Have you ever been in a place that you felt completely unsafe? No matter where you turn it just gives you that frightened feeling. It is almost as if the evil of the world has converged in one place and your standing in it. We all want that place of safety in our lives….a place where we feel cared for and nothing can harm you.
Last week was All Saints Day and we talked about the saints past, present and future…we talked about how we owe so much if what we have today to those who have gone before us. They are the ones who made a path for us to follow instead of making our own. It is nice to travel that safe road at times but at other times we just want to venture out on our own to see what we can find.
In the 23rd Psalm that I read this morning, we hear about that place of safety. That place is right next to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. In keeping close to Jesus we may not miss all those scary, dangerous parts of life but we know that He will walk through it with us.
Last week I also talked about how we are the imperfect, perfect vessels God’s love. We are those cracked pots for God so to speak. Even in our brokenness we are useable and precious to God who picks us up and creates something new, something beautiful.
It is within our brokenness that He is able to reform us into a thing of beauty. He reclaims us for a far better purpose than what we can imagine on our own. We all have brokenness within us, it all began in a garden before we were ever born. But there something amazing about our brokenness, it is within this brokenness that Jesus’ light shines through us. If we were perfectly made…there would be no cracks in which our light can shine through.
Think about beach glass for a moment each of you should have received a piece when you came in this morning. It starts out as a discarded bottle or other glass. It is broken and just left where it is as if it had no use or beauty left. Through time, the discarded piece of glass is rolled over many times and has had the waves beat upon it. It loses it’s rough edges that it once had. Until one day it becomes a thing of beauty that we call “beach glass”. It is no longer a discarded broken bottle, it has now become something that people search up and down the beach for. It is something that is valued and treasured…it may be in a different form but it is still valuable. It is actually considered a mineral gem at this point.
Our lives can seem much like the life of beach glass. We can feel we have the perfect life and then something comes along to shatter or change that. As we give ourselves to God , He is able to create something new. When we accept Jesus our whole lives change from dirty to white as snow. 1 John 5:1-5 told us that as we become children of God we are changed and we love the children of God. We may go through much pressure and strife but we come out changed on the other side.
Now we may feel alone as we go through our time of change but we are never alone. Listen to Psalm 31 verses 19-24 and hear the good news…
Psalm 31:19-24New International Version (NIV)
19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
(End as the spirit Leads)