The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


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 Sermons



Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Call to Worship:  Psalm 106:1 “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:8 “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 11 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
     
    Songs:  Not Be Shaken  - Vineyard
    Love the Lord  - Lincoln Brewster     
    Jesus All For Jesus - Robin Mark  
     
    Scripture:  Psalm 136
     
    Song:  The Power of Your Love - Hillsong
     
    Sermon:   His Love Endures Forever – Does Yours?
     
    Closing Song:  Jesus Lover of My Soul (It's All About You)  Aaron Firth 

    Benediction: 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”
     
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    Sermon: His Love Endures Forever – Does Yours?
                In the church there is always talk about God’s love and faithfulness and yes this should be the case but that has never been the issue. The issue is our love for God. There is more to Christianity than just God loving us; we must love Him with everything we have. We must follow God’s word whole-heartedly. Scripture makes it clear Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” This verse explains it very clearly. God keeps his covenant with us as we keep his commandments. There are songs like “Great is Thy Faithfulness” which obviously talk about God’s enduring faithfulness to his people. The lyrics go like this “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be. “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”   Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided— “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me! Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!” Notice how the emphasis is on God’s love and really nothing about our love for God. The bible makes it clear that God is a loving God and faithful to his children. That point really is obvious and not up for debate. Even though we sing of God’s faithfulness, we to must be faithful; we too must love God. Exodus 34:6 “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Along the way people have taught that God’s love and faithfulness are upon us no matter how you live. This is called cheap grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession...Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” He could have said going your own way and thinking that God will bless you for it. Cheap grace is deception. People today desperately want to believe that God is love no matter what. They want to live as the world does, worship what the world worships and go their own way, all the while thinking they are safe and secure from all alarm. Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.”
                All through scripture we see men and women going their own way and disaster following. We also see it in the songs we sing. Here is an example of this type of thinking from the Newsboys song “Your love never fails.” You have to be very careful with words like this. “Nothing can separate, Even if I run away, Your love never fails, I know I still make mistakes You have new mercy for me everyday Cause your love never fails.” If you run away and disobey what makes you think that God is okay with that. God’s mercy doesn’t enable you to go your own way. There is a song I heard recently called No Matter What. One verse states, “No matter what you've done You can't erase His love Nothing can change it You're not separated No matter where you run He's always holding on You're still a daughter, you're still a son No matter what.” Yes he will send his word after you BUT if you don’t return you will see His wrath as it does matter. Look at Deuteronomy 32:5 “They are corrupt and not his children; to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.  They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods    and angered him with their detestable idols. 17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. 18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them     because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” 2 Kings 17:12 “They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.” 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets. 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” 16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.” 2 Chronicles 24:18 “They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen.” Yes God’s love never fails but yours can. Do you listen to scripture or the words of song.
                Now it is taught, God acts differently and no matter how you live, all is good; God is love and faithful; you are secure. You can follow other gospels, worship other gods and God is love. Isn’t it interesting that people who teach false gospels are telling their people they are secure no matter what? What cruel deception this us! Think about all the people who will hear Matthew 7:23 “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” These teachings are not at all what the bible states. You always have to pair theses statements we saw in these two songs with what the bible actually says and test the spirits. 2 Chronicles 24:21 “Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.” It doesn’t get any clearer than this. You then saw what happened and only a remnant survived. The song we sang earlier called the Power of Your Love said, “Lord I come to You, Let my heart be changed, renewed, Flowing from the grace That I've found in You.” You change when you repent and you remain in Him. This grace is not cheap grace. Yes it taught that God’s grace continues to flow but what isn’t taught is this. 1 John 3:6 “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” 1 John 5:18 “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.” But this isn’t what is being taught.
                We must believe as John 3:16 tells us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” You can’t live like this and expect mercy without change. We must sincerely repent and change our ways and to do that we need the power of the Holy Spirit.
                As I was reading this week I read a few verses in Song of Songs that really struck me concerning love. We live in a day where our stuff and our daily activities are really important to us but is it important enough to come between you and God? Jesus told us clearly Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Jesus also tells us in Mark 10:28 “Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” A man asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Many people in today’s church are in this position but don’t really ask because they don't really want to know. Jesus responded Mark 10:21 “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” Jesus looked at this heart and pointed out to him his problem. Most simply just want to go to church but are not willing to give anything of themselves. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” Unfortunately this is most of today’s church.
                Now to the verse from Song of Songs 8:6 “for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.  7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Do we have this kind of love for God? These verses really stood out to me and yes there are many people like the man of great wealth who are not willing to sell all they have and follow like the disciples did. Jesus knew the man’s heart and went straight to the issue. This is why the prophets were killed. This is why they rejected what God had to say. This is why most in the church today do not want to hear the truth. Just going to church like the man who kept the commandments is not enough. We must love God above everything else. For most this type of love is confusing to them as they are not willing to lay their hearts before God. Many are not even willing to lay down their lives for loved ones. The love talked about here is a love that burns with passion. Think about how a loved one dying changes everything. Think about the power of a forest fire and what it leaves behind. In many cases there is no amount of water that can stop a fire when it rages. We sing a song called light the fire again and another called send the fire. We wan ta fire that rages. The part I want to focus on this morning is “If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” All our possessions are not worthy of the love we should have for God. There is no amount of wealth or possessions that can come between us and God. Yes His love endures forever but what about yours. So much emphasis is placed on God’s love but very little on our responsibility to love God with everything we have, even though loving God is the greatest commandment we were given.
                Matthew 22:34 “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” We know the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength yet the church decided to just focus on our neighbor yet this is impossible without first loving God because you have nothing to give your neighbor. You are going in your own strength, which is why we ended up with lots of programs, seeker sensitive churches and cheap grace. We also end up with legalism. This is like the man of great wealth who thought he was observing everything he had to but missed the heart of the matter. This is also like Mark 12:41 “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Luke 8:42 “As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
                How many people are there in church today that don’t tithe? How many tithe what looks like large amounts or small amounts but compared to their wealth is nothing? It looks like on average Christians give 2.5% of their income to churches. I thought this one was interesting that of families that make $75000, only 1% donated 10%. This is not about tithing but about trusting God. How many actually believe they can give all they have like the poor widow and God will provide? Most don’t actually believe God will provide for them if they tithed 10%. How many in church today are simply walking beside Jesus but do not have enough faith to reach out and touch His cloak? How many have been led astray so that they don’t even pursue the gifts of the Spirit or the fruit for that matter. They don’t even know they can reach out and grab his cloak. Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
                Lets go back to our houses. We work very hard to have a home to live in. Not only did you have to buy it, you have to maintain it. You have to pay your bills for fuel, hydro and taxes and the list is long. The cost of a home these days has skyrocketed and many put everything they have into it. I have not even talked about the vehicles that possibly go in the garage if there is room. Our efforts, our thoughts, our worries all get poured into this structure. The same happens when there is a building project for a church. Do we really believe that God will provide. When the tabernacle was built. Exodus 35:29 “All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.” Exodus 36:3 “And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.” They were told to stop. How rare is that? Ezra 6:3 “In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be sixty cubits high and sixty cubits wide, 4 with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. 5 Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.” Ezra 1:4 “And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’” 5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.” Even while leaving the captivity of Egypt God provided. Exodus 12:35 “The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. God will provide all our needs even to this extreme. Matthew 17:27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
                How much energy goes into worrying about your stuff or getting more? God makes it very clear that if you trust him he will provide all your needs. Are you willing to turn that around and focus on loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Yes His love endures forever but his love is not in question as His love endures forever. I want to take the time to read this chapter from Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 6:1 “These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said. 20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
                God will provide for us as we cross into the land of promise. There is nothing to worry about or to fear but do you really love God enough to believe that. If you believe God’s love endures forever, then act like it. Psalm 100:1 “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” This doesn’t mean go your own way and expect to be blessed. When Joshua was to face the vast army God said, Joshua 11:6 “The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel.” This takes great faith. Yes people will say what you asked for didn’t happen because you did not have faith yet Jesus said Matthew 17:20 “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” The problem is our focus has been on loving ourselves not on loving God wholeheartedly. We have not kept our eyes on the perfector of our faith. We have followed other gospels and have not adhered to the word of God therefore God has turned his face from us as he said he would do. Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!” There are some absolutely ridiculous teachings in the church today. These false teachers and prophets are leading the church astray. They are making it worse by getting people to put their focus on the church they go to. And they are doing so blindly. Yes there are some absurd examples of leaders buying planes and lavish living but it does not even have to be that extreme. If the church you are going to is following another gospel then you have been led astray. Matthew 15:7 “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” We must return to following God wholeheartedly by loving him with heart, soul mind and strength.
                As we prepare to cross the Jordon get ready for God to move in power. God is the same God that led Joshua across and gave him the land. He too will give us the land but we must love Him with everything we have. If God says go, you go without concern about your stuff or where the funds will come from. We must lay our lives before him as an offering. We can allow nothing to come between God and us. 2 Corinthians 2:4 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” Yes our journey will be pleasant to some but to others it will be an aroma that brings death.
                Joshua told the people Joshua 3:5 “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Yes God loves us and is faithful and will give us the land just as he promised. Deuteronomy 9:1 “Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2 The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” 3 But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.” Yes the Lord is loving and faithful but are you. Are you passionate for God above your life, your possessions? Yes he will give us the land but do you believe we will take it. Yes there will be enemies but do you believe they will be defeated. Yes you have read about the fruits and gifts of the Spirit but do you really believe God will empower us once again or are you just coming to church. Will you wait for Him to move in our lives no matter what? Are you willing to reach out your hand and touch him? Will you stand firm or shake in your boots as the enemy advances against us. Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
                As we reflect on our love for God I want to read from Haggai. Haggai 1:1 “In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest: 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” 12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.
                Solomon was given the task to build the temple. It was spectacular and took him 7 years to build. On the other hand it took him 13 years to build the palace. Our focus should be on the word of God not on what we own. Yes God said he would take care of our needs and we have been told do not worry. Luke 12:22 “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
                The bible tells us God’s love endures forever but do you love him with everything you have? God’s love is not what we should be concerned about. We should be concerned whether our names have been written in heaven. Can you say with Paul Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” So with great praise and adoration we say Psalm 118:28 “You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”