Monday, December 22, 2008

Not your desire, but MY Will!”

S‑1088 12/21/2008 4SMIA/3B Hymns: (O)#102, #76; #66; #647; #103; #127; (C)87

Texts: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Theme: “Not your desire, but MY Will!” 2 Sam. 7:5,11b, 16

Armour, SD. SOLI DEO GLORIA. Children’s Christmas Program

Question: “What is your intention?”

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the O. T. lesson: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in?’…Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house… And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me. Your throne shall be established forever’” (2 Sam. 7:5,11b, 16).

Saints in Christ, the road to heaven is paved with good intentions. We desire to do what is right. That is why so many of us make resolutions during the New Year saying, “I will make every effort to come to church more often. I will attempt to give more to the Lord and His work. I will do my best to be a better husband/father/grandfather, wife/mother/grandmother. I will read more, watch less TV, and exercise more in the coming year. But we all know that even with our best intentions we don’t carry them out. Though we certainly want too, some how we get distracted.

Unlike us, David in our reading today, had a sincere desire to build a house for the Lord. He wanted all of the Israelites to come and worship the Only True God. He wanted a place specifically where the people of God can bring their petitions and prayers to the throne of Grace. He even said, “I have my own house, shouldn’t God have one too?”

But God wouldn’t permit David to build Him a house. Instead God said to David His servant, “David, you will not build me a house, but I will make you one.” Notice the play on words by our author. David wanted to buildbana” a house. But God wanted to makeasa” a house. David wanted to build a house using materials of wood, stone and metal. But God wouldn’t use anything like this except His loving hands to make this house for David.

God in His divine wisdom wasn’t speaking of a physical building but a dynasty. God the architect of the universe who set the stars, moon and the sun in its place would be the Maker of this house who’s Kingdom and throne will be established forever.

It wouldn’t be David who will build the house, but a distant Son of David who would make this a reality. During this time of the year as we are observing Advent and preparing for Christmas that we see clearly God’s plans unfold in sending the Son of David, Jesus our Savior to come to earth to establish this Kingdom and dynasty that will have no end.

What is beautiful about this text is that it demonstrates that this house that God will make is not one that is according to the will or desire of man, but according to God’s plan. This house will not be built by a military man; leading a revolution against the Romans. But a humble man who comes to bring peace and unity so that all people who believe in Him might be part of the family of God. PAUSE

Through the prophet Micah we read these words: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me
One who is to be Ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore He shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of His brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they shall dwell secure, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth. And He shall be their peace”
(Micah 5:2-5).

In Bethlehem the architect of the universe begins His work of making this house a reality. It is in Bethlehem that the Savior was born. Remember that when the wise men came to Herod, they asked, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” Herod asked the Jewish leaders and they told him “in Bethlehem of Judah.”

Bethlehem, the place of David’s birth means “the house of bread”. And the Savior of the world, David’s greater Son was born there to make this house of bread last forever. His dynasty and His kingdom will never end. The making of this house was begun in the manger with the birth of the Christ Child, and ended with His death on Calvary’s cross. On the third day, the Savior, Jesus Christ rose victorious from the grave to establish once and for all the house of David that will endure to eternity.

This house has been made, not by human hands, but by the pierced hands of the babe of Bethlehem. He has established it in our hearts by the working of the Holy Spirit, and continues to strengthen this house as He nurtures and feeds it often with His body and blood.

Yet, we sometimes try to let our will take over. We don’t like it when we have a plan, or a desire that doesn’t get fulfilled. We complain to God. We question God and His wisdom. Or we don’t like the events that surround our lives and want to do something that fits us better. PAUSE.

This past week, I got a letter from a friend of mine that brought me to tears. Here is why: “…What really frustrates me and breaks my heart is that I know the enemy is behind all this and we are just the weak pawns bending to his desires to destroy ministry and stop reaching the lost with the Gospel. I just don’t have it in me anymore to stay in the battle and I need some real rest from all of this warfare. Even though there are a few who are aware of my situation and praying for me, even offering whatever help they could, I still feel so isolated and alone – I don’t know how to get real help, I don’t know where to turn for a truly positive solution to this problem.

I really don’t want to throw in the towel,… but this can’t be all of what God intended when He called me to the mission field, can it? Maybe my leadership is correct and I am just not cut out to be a missionary. Lord knows, I want to be, but I can only do so much. Maybe it is just a “bad match”? I have lost the desire to fight and I can’t keep up this pace of what feels like madness to me half the time. I apologize for letting you and the ministry down; this battle is just proving too much for me. PAUSE.

My friend is struggling with real issues here. Fighting for the sake of the Kingdom of God and lost souls. My friend is crying out for help trying to solve the problem alone. But they are forgetting that the battle is not their’s but God’s. It is God’s desire that will be carried out. It is God’s working that will change hearts and heads and homes. It is God’s acts of love which brought His only Son to the manger that will establish my friend and give peace and rest to the weary. It is God’s desire to make a house for us and He has in His Son, Jesus the greater son of David.

Yes, dear friends we all have good intentions to do the right thing. But God is the One who makes it possible to come to fruition in the sending of His Son to be our Savior and establish His house that will last forever.

And the Good news is that house that God has made, is big enough for all people, including you and me. What a blessing during this Fourth Sunday in Advent to know the truth that God is in the business of making of us His home that will know no end. Amen.

Now the peace…

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