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Trust in the Lord!

Notes & Transcripts

Trust in the Lord!

Proverbs 3 1-8; Acts 16:6-10

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - July 24, 2013

*Who do you trust? I trust my wife. And I know many good, Godly Christians I would trust with my life. But standing over and above all, we can trust God! The cross of Jesus Christ proves that forever. I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior almost 38 years ago. And though I have failed Him many times in those years, He has never failed me once. And He has blessed me beyond measure.

*We can trust in the Lord! And this is always important. But it seems more crucial in times like this, when Emily is launching a brand new chapter in her life. She needs to trust in the Lord. We all need to trust in the Lord as we move forward in life.

*The great news is that we can trust in the Lord! -- And in these verses we can see three milestones or goals for our trust.

1. First: We should trust God enough to focus on His Word.

*The Lord wants us to focus our lives on His Word. This is God's message to us in vs. 1-4, where He says:

1. My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;

2. for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.

3. let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart,

4. and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.

*Here God speaks as a loving Father to His children. And He uses a repeated pattern. First God makes a wise request. Then He promises a wonderful reward. Listen for this pattern in vs. 1&2:

1. My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;

2. for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.

*"Let your heart keep my commands." Our "heart" is our whole inner-man: our mind, our emotions and our will. And when God talks about us "keeping" His commands, it's the word picture of guarding them, keeping a close watch over them so we can properly care for them.

*In effect, God is saying: "Don't forget my Word. Keep focused on it. Keep it close so that it can touch your heart and transform your habits." So these verses remind us that God's Word is not just designed to get us to Heaven. It's designed to give us the best possible life down here.

*The Bible will help us in every area of life:

-It will help us with our family and with our finances.

-It will help us grow up and help us grow old.

-It will help us win right and help us lose right.

-It will bless our children and build our character.

*Since God's Word is so important, we ought to focus on it every day. Robert Summer wrote the amazing story of a man from Kansas who was severely injured in an explosion. His face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands.

*This man was a new Christian, and one of his greatest sorrows was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read Braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. He sadly discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion.

*But one day, as he brought a Braille page to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised letters and he could feel them with his tongue. He thought, "I can read the Bible using my tongue." And by the time his story was written, that man had read the whole Bible four times with his tongue! (1)

*His lost his eyes. But he never lost sight of the importance of God's Word.

-We must trust God enough to focus on His Word.

2. And trust Him enough to follow His guidance.

*God is telling us to follow His guidance in vs. 5&6, where He says:

5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

6. in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

*Do you ever feel like you don't have a clue about what to do? -- Or even where to take the next step? Sometimes we do feel that way. But God has promised to guide us, and He will.

*How does God guide us? -- One of the best places to see is over in Acts 16. There Paul and Silas were on an extremely important mission trip, and they needed guidance from God. Please look at it over in Acts 16:6-10:

6. Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.

7. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.

8. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

9. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us.''

10. Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

[1] So how does God guide us? -- Sometimes He closes doors.

*That's what happened in vs. 6&7: "God: I want to go to Asia. I want to go to Bithynia." But God says, "No." And we can't understand why. But one thing is sure: Our Heavenly Father knows best. And He will do what's best for us.

*Sometimes we are like a dog C.S. Lewis told about. That dog had his leash wrapped around a sign post. And he was pulling, pulling at his leash, struggling to go forward. But the master knew that the only way to go forward was to back-up and get untangled. (2)

*Sometimes we don't understand why the Lord leads us in a certain direction, but we need to keep trusting in our Master. Sometimes He closes doors.

[2] And sometimes He creates divine appointments.

*We can see this method too when we look carefully at vs. 6-10. In vs. 6-8, Luke later reported:

6. Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.

7. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.

8. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

*Five times Luke said, "They, they, they, they, they." -- But then in vs. 10, all of a sudden, it's "we." God sent Paul to Troas for a divine appointment with Dr. Luke, the man God used to write this book of the Bible.

*And the Lord does the same kind of thing in our lives. He arranges our circumstances. The light turns red. We get held up in traffic. And our lives are changed forever. The Lord puts us in the right place at just the right time to bump into somebody we need to know.

*That's how He guides us: God creates divine appointments. I had a divine appointment about 20 years ago. A man I know was having some terrible problems in his marriage. His heart was broken, torn to pieces.

*There surely didn't seem to be much that I could do. But a friend of his asked me to try to talk to him. So we went over to the man's house, talked a little bit, and had prayer. We were there maybe 30 minutes, certainly not more than an hour.

*It did not seem to help very much at the time. But about 5 years later the man and his friend went on a business trip together. Out of the blue, the friend started talking about the situation 5 years before. He said, "You have no idea how bad of shape I was in, and how much you and Bro. Rick helped me. I even had the gun in my mouth, but God used you to help turn me around."

*I had another divine appointment today. I went to Brookshire's in West Monroe to get some mints, and the man in front of me turned around. It was the man who almost took his life 20 years ago. He and his wife are going on vacation tomorrow. And he was laughing about all he had to do to get ready. He said, "This is my second trip to Brookshire's today." And God reminded me how He can do amazing things when we go even a little bit out of our way for someone else.

*But God creates divine appointments for us. That's how He guides us.

[3] God also gives us dreams.

*We see Paul's God-given dream in vs. 9: "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.'''

*Now, you have to be careful about dreams. I usually don't remember my dreams. But one time I dreamed that our old dog Charlie went to the movies with me. And when I looked back, a monkey was running the projector! You know what that dream meant? -- Absolutely nothing.

*But we must have God-given dreams. We must have God-given inspiration, as individuals and as a church. Proverbs 29:18 says: "Where there is no vision, the people perish." And yes, this is talking about the revelation of God's Word. But it is also talking about the kind of dream we see here: Dreams of going places and doing things for our Lord.

*And God wants His people to have big dreams, because He is a big God! One of the big dreams God has given our church right now is a dream for children to be reached through Upward Football. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.''

*It's important to remember that children are some of the most reachable people. That's one reason why Robert Raikes started the Sunday School movement back in the 1700's. Children have been the most reachable group in our country for at least 100 years. And if you don't receive Jesus by age 18, there is only a 6% chance that you will. (3)

*How does God guide His people?

-Sometimes He closes doors.

-Sometimes He creates divine appointments.

-Sometimes He gives us dreams.

[4] And God has many other ways to guide His people. But His favorite way to guide us is through His Word. God wants us to have a daily diet of His Word.

*The Lord wants us to feed on the Bible every day, so He can guide us with His Word every day. Tonight our guidance comes from the Book of Acts and the Book of Proverbs. But from the first page of Genesis to the last page of Revelation, God's Word has great guidance for our lives.

*Listen again to God's guidance in Proverbs 3:5&6:

5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

6. in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

*God will surely guide us. We just have to trust Him. We must trust God enough to follow His guidance.

3. And trust Him enough to fear the Lord.

*The Lord wants us to trust Him enough to live in Godly fear. This is His message to us in Proverbs 3:7&8, where He says:

7. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.

8. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.

*God says: "Fear the Lord." But Godly fear is the great missing ingredient in American society today. That's why so many people trifle with God. They put no more weight on how to live before Him than they do about what box of cereal to pick out at Wal-Mart, or what movie to see on Friday night.

*We must not trifle with God. Rather, we should tremble before God. But isn't God our friend? Yes, He is the best Friend we will ever have! In John 15:13, Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends." And this is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us when He died on the cross.

*But in the Old Testament, the man best known as the Friend of God was Abraham. And in Genesis 22:12, when Abraham had that knife raised to sacrifice his son Isaac, God said: "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Abraham feared the Lord.

*You could say, well that's Old Testament. But in Matthew 10, Jesus was speaking to the disciples, and He warned them about coming persecution. Jesus could see into the future. And He knew how they were going to suffer. He could see every blow, every cut, every bruise, every tear they would cry.

*They had a reason to be afraid. But in Matthew 10:28, Jesus said: "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

*God says: "Fear the Lord." In other words: "Live in Godly reverence." And notice that this goes hand in hand with trusting the Lord. It's not an "either or" thing. Here in Proverbs 3:5, God tells us to trust Him. Then in vs. 7, He tells us to fear Him.

*We trust and we tremble. We tremble and we trust. A lot of Scriptures bear out this truth:

-Psalm 34:7-10 says:

7. The angel of the Lord camps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.

8. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

9. Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.

10. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

-And Psalm 103:8-11 says:

8. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

9. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

*The fear of the Lord is a good thing. It doesn't crush our spirit. It puts us on the right path in life. It doesn't hurt us. It helps us. Godly fear doesn't blot out the mercy of God. It helps us see our great need for His mercy.

*We sing: "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! But do you remember the second verse of the song? "T'was grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed." (4)

*God deserves all of our reverence and respect.

*So trust Him.

-Trust God enough to focus your life on His Word.

-Trust Him enough to follow His guidance.

-And trust Him enough to fear the Lord.

*Emily: I know you have been trusting in the Lord as you head off to Birmingham. You keep trusting in the Lord. And church: We need to keep trusting in the Lord too. We will always be glad we did.

Let's go to the Lord in prayer.

(1) "The Wonder of the Word of God" by Robert L. Summer - Found in KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION - ID Number: 14705 - SOURCE: Fredericksburg Bible Illustrator Supplements - TITLE: "He Read It With His Tongue"

(2) Original source unknown

(3) Original source unknown

(4) "Amazing Grace" by John Newton, 1779

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