Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Simple Childhood Truths

A couple of days ago I was reading an article about overthinking problems. I, like many others, tend to overthink problems and plan out every detail. Like a skilled chess player, I plan each move and try to anticipate my opponent’s next move. There would be a series of countermoves to each move. In time, I find myself pacing the floor and experiencing another sleepless night. I have worked myself up into a frazzle and the only thing I have to show for all of this extraneous activity is baggy, tired eyes and no solution to my initial thought.

I am sure that many of you have done the same thing from time to time. You worry about every little detail only to find, like me, that the problem was not that big of a deal and it would actually solve itself. Having gone through those types of situations, it does not stop me from doing the same thing all over again. I soon find myself doing the exact same thing to resolve the next problem or issue in my life.

As I read the article, the author suggested that we should not concentrate on what can go wrong, but rather what can go right. If you think about it, the author’s advice is perfect. We spend too much time thinking about what could go wrong rather than look at what can and will go right. While I continued to read the article, I began to think back to my childhood. As a child, I really had no problems to worry about. My parents provided my brother and myself with food, shelter, clothing and the necessities of life. When I became a parent, I took on the worries of providing for my family.

If you look at today’s society, many things can go wrong. A spouse could lose a job, have a medical problem or pass away. All of a sudden, your life turns upside down and you begin to think about all of the things that could go wrong. Look at all of the things that you have in your life: mortgage, car payments, credit card bills, utilities, food and the list goes on. Missing a payment could spell the end of your financial life. Has your blood pressure increased? Is your heart racing? For me, the mere mention of missing a payment scares me and I begin to sweat and worry. There are times when I wish I could become a child again and have no worries.

While it is impossible to travel back in time to become a child, there are certain things we learned during our childhood that can help us get through the tough times and set our thoughts on our Heavenly Father who provides us with everything we need.

When I was in the fifth grade, before heading to the cafeteria for lunch we would bow our heads in prayer and ask God to bless our food. Children learn a very simple prayer for God’s blessing. “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen”.

Do you remember this little prayer? I bet each of you could have repeated it when I started that small prayer. If you really think about this simple prayer, you will see that there are fundamental truths about God. These truths are illustrated throughout the entirety of the Holy Bible. We see God’s awesome power throughout the Old Testament. 

David, in 1 Chronicles 29, sums up God’s greatness perfectly in a prayer of praise, “10 O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.

Look at the words that David speaks. He talks of glory, victory, greatness, power and majesty. God rules over all things in Heaven and on the earth. Everything is His and His alone. He gives greatness and strength to those He chooses. He truly is great. 

The next thing in the little prayer that is illustrated is God’s goodness. It is a very simple sentence like the one before it. God is good. He provides only good things to His children.

James, in chapter 1 of his epistle, writes, “17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

God does not change or lie. It is impossible for Him to do so. All good and perfect things come to us from His bountiful hand. He is only capable of giving us good things and will never give us anything that would cause us harm.

Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew 7, tells us, “9 You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Once again, a very simple truth is provided in that simple little prayer. Since God is good, He will only give us good gifts. It is up to us to approach the throne of God and ask Him for those good gifts. As long as we seek Him we will find Him and if we ask, He will give in accordance to His will and plan for our lives.

As we grew older, we forgot the simple truths of that prayer. We overthink and spend too much time worrying about things in our lives. All we have to do is go to God in prayer and ask for His wisdom, guidance and help in whatever we face. All throughout the scripture, God reminds us that all we have to do is seek Him and we will find Him. Once again, that is a very simple truth that we often forget. God is always there even when we think He is not.

It is so easy for us to forget the childhood truths that we learned and not apply them to our adult lives. We seek help and guidance from everywhere and everyone else. Earlier in Matthew 7, Jesus tells us, “8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

It is not a hard thing to do. We just, once again, overthink how we should approach God. It starts with realizing that we can go our Heavenly Father by professing that Jesus is our personal Savior and Lord and it is only through him that we can speak to the Father. 

The author of Hebrews tells us in chapter 4, “16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

It is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the spilling of his blood for our sins that allows us to go boldly to God’s throne and obtain mercy and find grace when we face trials, troubles and tribulations. There are no secret rituals that we have to perform to gain access to the Father. It is, once again, a simple truth. If we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we have access through him to the Father. There is nothing that separates us from Him.

As you go through this week and face issues that seem insurmountable, remember that simple prayer and the truths in it. God truly is great and good. He will provide for your every need and guide your footsteps. When you choose to seek Him, you will find Him. When you ask, you will be given. Knowing those simple truths will allow you to stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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