These are Dan's preaching notes. Wild...
Dan started with this quote:
Richard John Neuhas: “As we come out of a movie theater and shake our heads to clear our minds of another world where we lived for a time in suspended disbelief, as we reorient ourselves to reality, so we leave our contemplation - we leave the church building, we close the book - where for a time another reality seemed possible, believable, even real. But, we tell ourselves, the real world is a world elsewhere. It is the world of deadlines to be met, of appointments to be kept, of taxes to be paid, of children to be educated. From here, from this moment at the cross, it is a distant country. ‘Father, forgive them, for they have forgotten the way home. They have misplaced the real world.’ Here, here is the real world” (Richard John Neuhas, Death on a Friday Afternoon).We are reminding ourselves what the real world is. God's story, his massive cosmic story of adoption, is the real world. Dan is basing his talk on Psalm 36.
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.What does God really want from you?
For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil.
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O LORD.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.
(Psalm 36 ESV)
Micah 6:8 - He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?But there is a confession to make. This is a trick question. What does God want from you? The question really is... Who is God?
Psalm 82:3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Isaiah 1:17 - learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.
James 1:26-27 - If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. !Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Listen to Psalm 36:9 - For with you is the fountain of life, in your light do we see life.
Does a fountain want anything from you?
The very nature of a fountain is the it gives and it never stops giving. You cannot diminish the supply of Niagara with your tiny little mouth. It does not want or need anything from you. What does God want from us? Wrong question. What is God? Much better question. He is a fountain. From before time as we know it, God was a fountain, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, giving and receiving loving and community. Infinitely greater than Niagra Falls and the giving force of water that we find there.
We can't live the Christian life well if we think of God primarily wanting things from us. To serve the orphan well, we have to think of God primarily as giver.
Why Psalm 36?
1. There is a strong connection in this Psalm to what Scripture calls sonship.There are god's who take and there is a God who gives.
2. Drinking from the fountain of the Father’s lavish delight in us actually empowers us to live on the razor sharp edge of the world’s profound brokenness.
3. Orphans need Christians who feast on the abundance of God’s house and whom God causes to drink from the river of his delights (Psalm 36:8).
4. Christians who experience God the Giver are much better equipped to love the child who comes from or lives in the hard place.
Who is the God who gives? Psalm 36 shows us. God is the giver. We are to feast on the abundance of his house. You cannot begin to diminish his supply.
“The soul of man is of a vigorous and active nature, and hath in it a raging and inextinguishable thirst, an immaterial kind of fire, always catching at some object or other, in conjunction wherewith it thinks to be happy . . . and were it once rent from the world, and all the bewitching enjoyments under the sun, it would quickly search after some higher and more excellent object, to satisfy its ardent and importunate cravings; and, being no longer dazzled with glittering vanities, would fix on that supreme and all-sufficient Good, where it would discover such beauty and sweetness as would charm and overpower all its affections.” - Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (get this book on Kindle for $0.99)The orphan and widow will only be served well when we drink deeply from the fountain that is King Jesus.