Oh I love Sundays! In service, Robert Smith spoke on the Oasis of God from Psalm 42-43. This was such a great reminder for me and I was very in need of it. God is tranquility in the midst of turbulence, calm in the midst of a storm, and peace even when the bottom of our lives fall out. God is the oasis in the desert (these types of paradoxes are all over scripture when it comes to Christianity). The psalmist here is depressed, his soul is downcast…I can almost see him battling his own thoughts as he goes back and forth; he questions his own soul asking “why are you so downcast” reminding himself of the hope that is in God and telling himself to hope in Him, to remember all He has done and all He can do. The psalmist is sensing the absence from the house of God and the absence of the God of the temple. When we miss a week in church, we have missed a time of being gathered with the body in the house of God; there is something about being in that place that cannot be replaced by anything else…being absent from church will contribute to a depressed soul. There will also be times as a believer that we feel far from God and don’t feel His presence, but we can always trust He is there, hope in Him, and know that because He lives we can face today and tomorrow. The psalm begins with panting and ends with praise. God is our oasis and He is worthy to be praised.
In the high school service, Ben Davey shared a sermon with the students that he spoke to the college class earlier in the summer (see notes from that here). Then in college class, Don spoke on the end of the Gospel. The gospel is God exalting:
- it makes us what we were intended to be- This is accomplished in terms of the body, holiness, and belonging (Phil. 3:21, Rom. 8:32, Col. 1:22, Titus 2:14)
- puts us in the place we were inteded to be- We will be with Christ, the Tree of Life, new and improved (John 14:3, 1 John 3:2, Rev. 22:4, Isaiah 65:17, Rom. 8:21, 2 Peter 3:13, Rev. 21:1)
- makes us do what we were intended to do- We will rest…this rest does not mean sleep or relax like the rest that we think, in the scriptures it is a ceasing from something; we will no longer have any anxiety, we will rest in just being with Christ. We will worship and praise. We will serve. (Isaiah 43:7, Heb. 4:3, Eph. 1:11-14, Rev. 19:5-7, Mat. 19:28, Rev. 22:3-4)
When we look at the totality of the gospel, we don’t focus on the good which is coming to us, but the One who would do such a thing. That’s how God gets all the glory for the blessings He gives to His children though the Gospel. He is the One who Created, Sustains, Restores…we are the ones who destroyed. He gets all the glory! The gospel is all about bringing Him glory and it ends with those who belong to Him being in His presence and it’s only by His name, His character, His power, His love, His righteousness, His holiness that this is possible–> the way we were meant to be, the place we were meant to be, and doing what we were meant to do. Praise God!
Looking forward to serving tonight by watching the kids during service and then helping in the courtyard during fellowship. Hope everyone has had a wonderful Sunday!