One of the challenges of doing multiple services is that it really doesn’t matter what you try, no 2 services are the same. One feel rushed, the other feels too slow. One feels forced, the other feels free-flowing. One feels like there’s a time crunch, the other feels like there’s no clock. However, this past Sunday was different…both services were the same. They had the same pacing, same timing of everything, same “spirit in the room (or stadium)” and oddly they both ended at roughly the same timeframe. I left Sunday and told the team that was tearing things down…”that was a great Sunday.” And it was fun…and hot (more on that in a moment)…
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”
Psalm 8 is definitely one of my favorites. I love how this Psalm is surrounding with the above quote and I love what it says about us, as humans. It is so true…just walk outside on a summer night, take a deep breath, and marvel and what you see…you feel small in comparison. And that’s really the point. God has created all we see and don’t see…the biggest of things and the smallest of things…and when we see them, our hearts are to understand where we are in comparison to God.
Now, the idea that God is the center of all things is really a belief and a lifestyle. And it’s my opinion, that it’s a biblical one and the best one. The Bible is the written revelation of God. In short, it is given to us to tell us what God is like; tell us about His character; tell us His commands; and show us how we can know Him. But, in our sin-nature, we have made the Bible be stories, about how we can be better as humans…we’re looking for “keys to unlock the spiritual secrets” or “a 7-step plan for mental and spiritual success.” But if the Bible is primarily about God, it changes our perspectives a bit. Suddenly, it becomes a revelation, a disclosure of things unknown before and it’s helping relate to the One, true, God in a way that honors Him, serves Him, and fulfills His plans. Sure, God’s plan might be our success…but God loves to work through human weakness and He uses trials/failures in our lives to make us more dependent on Him.
And this is really important, as we approach the Bible. If we approach it is as, “God will show me some new insight to make me better” or as “Basic instructions before leaving earth”, we will miss the story of the Bible and we’ll miss the God who is being revealed in it. That’s why this Psalm is so crucial to our lives. It’s centering us on God…his vastness; unlimited power; and His omniscience. And when David sees all of that…it makes David marvel that God would take notice of him at all.
Sadly, the Great Enlightenment has brought to the forefront the humanistic thinking that we have in our culture today. The pursuit of “self” and making ourselves “better” have become the mantra. But the reality is that this is not a new battleground…as I said on Sunday, it’s as old as the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve first ate the forbidden fruit. Man has been seeking self-interest since Cain killed his brother Abel. It’s the air we breath and comes to us just as naturally.
Now, we can see some of the fruit of this type of thinking in our world today. “Is it fun?” “What’s in it for me?” “Only the strong will survive.” Hedonism triumphs self-sacrifice; pleasure overruns compassion; entitlement crushes service…and what you see is chaos. Remember, chaos always reigns when man tries to put himself in the center.
Best-version of ourselves…in Christ:
And where many take these humanistic moorings is that we “need to be the best version of ourselves”. I’ve always cringed when I’ve heard this, but haven’t had a great reply because if you speak against this idea, the thought can be that I’m thinking we should be “the worst version of ourselves”?♂️…
So, to clear this up, here’s what I think we’ll find in the Bible…when we put our trust in Jesus (who was the best version of any human, ever to walk), we actually are given the power of God to help us be like Jesus, which, would make us the best version of ourselves…in Christ. Some theologians (and I agree with them) believe that we cannot be “truly human” without being in Christ. For instance, there is no way the fruit of the Spirit of love (loving people without any desire for return), can be produced in our hearts, without being in Christ.
Remember, chaos always reigns when man tries to put himself in the center.Pastor Dave York
A personal example:
Several years ago I found myself in an odd spot when my kids were little…I would come home from work and my kids would mob me when I got home. I found myself getting irritated about it and I had no idea why. Finally, one day the Lord showed me that when I came home, I had this vision of being the center of my own little world…feet up, kids serving me, letting me relax…and I realized that my self-centeredness was creating anger…see the issue wasn’t just my anger, it was where it was coming from…I was making myself the center. When I confessed my self-centeredness, trusted Jesus for power to change, I found something remarkable happen…I loved engaging with my family when I got home and my heart was filled with thankfulness and joy. It’s an odd deal and I became a better dad…
You know, to me, it wasn’t that hot on the field on Sunday. But, I was sweating when I was done and I was thirsty. My iPad, about 80% done, decided to overheat and shut off. The good thing was that I had my printed version of my manuscript. I did have to do some multi-asking, while turning pages, navigating the wind, and speaking and hopefully it wasn’t too distracting.
From the Cheap Seats:
- I watched this Kevin James video the other night and his dialogue with the extra-terrestrials about mankind is really fascinating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt_HP9fTXkI.
- Hat-tip to Kevin DeBruyne…tying Thierry Henry for most in a Premier League season.
- Already having postponements due to COVID-19 after 1 weekend of MLB. Oh boy…
One last thing:
This coming Sunday night at 5:00, we’re having a discussion about “Culture, Conscience, and the Bible”. We are hoping to talk with you about how our elders have wrestled through this odd time in our world and how we’ve worked closely to achieve unity together, while leading the church. Our hope is to discuss some cultural issues that are on your mind and answer questions as the night goes on. Be sure to get registered at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/culture-conscience-the-bible-tickets-114359462230.
To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.