Sermon August 28, 2011: The best is yet to come

Posted in Sermons
[Roberto Miranda]
  • Presenter: Roberto Miranda
  • Date: August 28, 2011
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

The first psalm in the book of psalms is important, it’s the one that’s put at the beginning, something special that God wants to say introducing the whole collection of psalms.

“…Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever he does prospers. But not so the wicked, they are like the chaff that the wind blows away, therefore the wicked will stand in the judgment nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous, for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish…”

God put this psalm on my heart this morning and as I was saying before this is the first and introductory psalm that prefaces the entire collection of psalms. And it makes sense that this should be at the beginning, because before everything else, anything else we could do or say for or to the Lord comes that essential need for us to be committed in having an intimate relationship with God, the kind of thing that this psalm is addressing.

The rest of Scripture just unpacks that concept of our calling to have an intimate relationship with God, living founded on his word, and to obey that word in everything we do. The entirety of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelations is just an unfolding, an unpacking of what it means to have that relationship with Jesus Christ.

He might lap into English sometimes, we’ll just flow… I just want to make it as equal as possible, as well distributed as possible. You know, the first thing that strikes me here is that we’re blessed, is that the word in English? Yes it is. Blessed. You know, the word sher in Hebrew means happy, fortunate. It reminds me of another word that we bandy about a lot in biblical language, is shalom. That word that means peace and wellbeing as a whole.

Jews have always, and even to this day, greeted each other with that word shalom meaning I wish you peace, joy, blessing, prosperity, health all the good things that any human being can desire is included in that word. So many things included in that one word, health, wellbeing, prosperity, financial wellbeing, a healthy home, a happy marriage, all these different concepts wrapped up in that concept of shalom or peace.

It’s important for us to realize that as we enter into this covenant with God, this relationship with him, it’s appropriate for us to expect or even a sense of spiritual right that God wants to bless us and help us be happy and receive from him.

You know, I think there’s a certain kind of Christian spirituality that sort of glorifies suffering and poverty and resignation to the will of God. I do believe, in of course acknowledging the Lordship of God in our lives and accepting his will but when we over emphasize this idea that we are called to kind of walk in a valley of tear and simply grid our teeth until the Lord in his mercy, beams us up into heaven, I don’t think that that is the spirituality that the Bible is inviting us into as believers and as Christians.

Jesus said I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly, so that you would be blessed. Jesus said the one who believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from his innermost being. When I think of rivers of living water I think of an image of exuberance, of happiness, of abundant life, of energy and what else could that image of rivers of living water flowing our innermost being mean if not blessing that comes to us and flows through us.

And so according to your expectations of what kind of life you are being called to lead in the Kingdom of God, so shall your life be. Your expectations are like a magnetic energy that tracks like things into your life.

So, if you live your life expecting blessing, if you live your life thinking, that is my right as a son of God , as a child of Christ, I have been entered into a life of blessing and I can expect that blessing every day of my life, I think that expectation becomes a powerful, active force that attracts such energies and circumstances into your life.

Now, of course you know that we don’t teach in the church that we don’t ever have problems as Christians. We know that even anointed, blessed Christians will sometimes have problems, illnesses come, problems come, trees even fall on property, these things can happen even to faithful believers.

I believe that the problem with so much of the teaching about prosperity in our generation is that it’s just too simplistic, it doesn’t go into the detail of things and it’s just too black and white in terms of the message that’s being given.

We’re not saying that there won’t be problems, but in the overall balance taken together we can trust that the blessing far outweighs the negative and that we end up in the black, not in the red.

Warren Buffit is one of the greatest investors in history, a billionaire. His personal treasure, personal net worth adds to billions of dollars. So, if you trace the journey of someone like Warren Buffit, there’ll be times when they can lose tens of millions of dollars in a single day when the market takes a dip, but in the overall scheme of things, ends up certainly coming out ahead.

Investors know that they need to take a long term perspective and not get caught up in the day to day fluctuations of the market, but look at the overall progress that is going forward and higher in their investments.

And Christians know that there will be hard times, there will be ups and downs in their health, and even their marriage and different types of problems in life, but they also know what Romans 8 teaches, who will separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus?

And the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:35 goes into detail saying: “…And who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall trouble, or hardship, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or dangerous…” as if to say rhetorically, can there be anything that could separate me from God’s love in Christ Jesus.

At the same time he’s admitting that these things can and do come to our lives. But can they separate us from the love of God? Verse 37 puts [inaudible]

“… No in all of these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…”

As I look at this congregation and I who know just a little bit of your life stories, who was there here who hasn’t suffered some sort of difficulty or pain, or anguish or come to a point in their life maybe when they felt like the waters were up to their neck and they’re saying, God, how are you going to get me out of this? Who is exempt from that?

But what we see is in a son or daughter of God in spite of it all, there’s that spiritual health that is overflowing from them. They know that sooner or later they are going to get through this storm and they are going to arrive in a safe harbor. And just as in the case of Job, they know that after the storm there are times of refreshing and healing and restoration that God sends. And that is the destiny of the son or daughter of God, a Christian needs to stand firm on that and trust that my life will go well, God will bless.

The balance of my life even though there are losses will be positive in the final account. So it begins by saying, blessed is the man or the woman, the person who enjoys that relationship with God.

We could spend the whole day on that word. Now the psalm begins in a sense negative, explaining what the blessed man or woman does not do.

And I believe he does that so that there will be contrast, so that when it comes the time to say what the blessed person does do that it’s going to leap off the page at us more.

So here it says, he did not walk in the counsel of the wicked or did not walk, was never in the way of sinners and never sat in the seat of those that scorn or make fun, what is the word in English? Mockers. There are three things that a person who is not of this category that receives blessing, they practice, walking in a certain way, staying in a certain place and then settling, so to speak, in a place of evil.

Some commentators of this passage have seen a progressing decadency of perhaps even a descent here, more of descent. In life sometimes you begin by keeping a certain kind of company, by doing a certain kind of reading, by associating with a certain culture and a certain way of thinking.

You guys are with me? You’re not asleep yet? The weather is not lovely but can I continue [inaudible]? I’m enjoying this. I don’t know about you but maybe it’s because I’m preaching. Stay with me because I think there’s a lot of great stuff.

I think, for example, of the word counsel immediately to my mind comes the idea of meditation, mind, mental dwelling, you know, consideration of things. It is that element of what we keep in our heart and in our mind, what we dwell on and in. I would ask you, where do you do most of your reading and entertaining, what dimension, what moral dimension, what spiritual dimension do you keep company.

Think about it. have you ever woke up in the morning just under a cloud of heaviness, thinking, oh, gosh, I feel awful today, I don’t want to get out of bed, I’d like to just end it up. Where could that have come from? Could perhaps have come from the horror flick that you watched as you went to bed the night before?

Sometimes you feel like, God I don’t feel called to the word, I don’t feel the spirit of God in my life, I’m not really drawn to go to church any more, I’m kind of just bla about the spiritual life, I don’t feel the presence of the Lord in my life. Well, could it be perhaps that you are feeding your mind with readings and distractions and conversations that don’t necessarily lead to a Godly outlook and to a vital spirituality? Those things they require a certain kind of nourishment, a certain kind of consumption and like tracks like in the universe.

And we’re not talking about being super strict or being a stuck up that we won’t interact with unbelievers, and say, oh, no, I’m too holy for you. That’s not what we’re talking about. No, we’re not talking about being super legalistic and having a list of dos and don’ts but we are saying that we need to acquire a taste for the things of God and be aware that when we consume certain counsels, certain inputs, certain influence, that that dulls our spirit to the things of God, we lose a taste for the things of God.

There’s a saying in Spanish, show me with whom you walk and I’ll tell you who you are and so often our progression downwards spirituality begins with associations that are having a negative influence upon us.

So it’s starts with the counsel of your thoughts but then it leads to you standing in the way of sinners. So, your inner world, your interior world then leads to certain types of presence and behaviors and you might start with certain thoughts that are inappropriate, let’s say the person who indulges a pornographic habit or something like that, and next thing you know they’re putting on a hat and hiding going into stores that are XXX and buying stuff that they shouldn’t be buying. So, thoughts in the inner world then influences activities, your standing in the way of sinners.

And you know what? The more you practice sin and the more you dwell in it mentally and socially and intellectually and spirituality, the harder you become, your heart and your sensibility become hardened and before you know it you are mocking certain things of the spirit, you find your spirit rejecting actively the things of God.

Now, this can be much more subtle, those of us who sometimes are consuming a secular environment, especially in an intellectual environment, and it’s just consuming that, and consuming it and consuming it, then before long there comes times when we are reading the word of God and certain simple truths in the word of God we find our spirit rejecting, and even kind of laughing at certain things that are taught by the word of God.

We may even laugh and mock secretly the practices of many of our brothers and sisters in the faith, simply because they look a little bit ridiculous because it offends that intellectual quality of our spirituality. So we seem a crew bunch of crazy Christian speaking in tongues in our service and they will say, oh, look how ridiculous that looks. How could that be of God? And we feel better and say, no, I would never do that. I see a lot of stuff that are practiced by my fellow believers, I many not necessarily practice it myself, but I look at it with great respect, and I say, Lord, it’s probably better than some of these [inaudible] worship services that never even mention the word of Jesus Christ or the name of Jesus Christ because people are ashamed, they don’t want to scandalize the word. So, I think there’s a lot of humble things of the word that require a certain kind of humble spirituality that if you don’t cultivate it, you may end up mocking and scoffing and scorning those more innocent, childlike manifestations of the spirit of the word of God.

I’m glad my professor from Gordon Conwell Theological service isn’t here today. I’m saying that it’s important to keep a very childlike attitude towards the things of the word of God because if we’re not careful we can get so intellectual that we end up scoffing and mocking. That’s why I prefer to get my stuff from people who really know the spirit and know the mysteries and feel comfortable with all the gamete of spiritual manifestations within the Christian sensibility.

Am I making sense? Of course, this is talking about the extreme example of a person who actually doesn’t believe in Christ, who ends up not only a non believer but actually ridiculing those that are.

I was reading a blog yesterday related to the Weather Channel, of course researching what was going to happen, and I was reading some comments made by one poor evangelical Christian had the temerity to write that maybe God was trying to say something through this hurricane. Might not have been the best way to do it, but the quantity and the vehemence and the length and all the number of responses and people making fun of this Christian, just cursing him, laughing and making fun of, it was fascinating to see such reaction and we’re seeing here the seed of mockers.

So, it is a real thing, people, it is in the culture. There is a lot of people who, when you mention certain things of Scripture, the second coming, the judgment, hell, oh my God, hell, don’t mention that word because that puts you in the category of these Christians with the eyes bulging out and red all over, and just hating people and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of truth of the Bible that people just mock or curse at and they just don’t want to hear about it.

And against this dark background, this negative background we see the light shine all the brighter when the words says, “… He is like the man who is blessed by the Lord is like a… his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates…”

Just think about that for a moment, but rather, but rather…his delight is in the law of the Lord. So the psalmist is talking about the law of God, of course, he doesn’t have the whole Bible, he’s writing the Bible, but he’s referring to the Pentateuch, to the law that… Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, this beginning part of the Bible that they did have before them, that’s what he’s talking about, the law of God that was already written.

Now, we have the luck nowadays to say, for us the law of the Lord, not just those first 5 books written by Moses, but the whole collection. We got the prophets, we got the psalms, the proverbs and the New Testament, the Gospels about Jesus, the letters, Revelations, we have a lot of the law of God. And this is something I really want to emphasize, God has given us an amazing treasure in the word of God, just an amazing collection of wisdom and of treasure, and of anointing, God’s inspired words spoken to us, we need to value this word and study it and know it.

And I like the fact that he uses the word, the law of God, because at the end of day the word of God is meant to be obeyed, it’s meant to be submitted to, it’s God teaching his kind and loving law that is there for us to live happy as we submit and obey to what God commands.

The law is not meant to stifle life and stifle happiness, on the contrary, it’s meant to protect us, to provide an atmosphere where we thrive and really be who we are called to be.

The law of God is meant to protect us from harm, it’s sort of like that fence alongside a canyon so that we won’t fall into it.

And it says, blessed is the man or woman who delights in that word, and on he meditates the word in Spanish is beautiful ‘delicia’ that there’s a delight, there’s a relish, there is a savoring of the word of God.

In the Spanish translation which by the way is always better than the English, it says here, in the law of the Lord is his delight. In other words, I think it’s an emphatic expression of this idea that when everything is said and done the place where he really comes to the delight in, where he finds true joy and blessing and comfort and enjoyment is in the word of God, nothing else. There may be other things but that has no comparison in terms of how much pleasure it give him or her.

I think you’re going to really extract all the blessing that is enclosed in the word of God, you first have to enjoy it extremely, you have to delight in it, you have to find something extremely unique and special in that word. Your foundational attitude, so to speak, has to be one of absolute preference for that word.

If you read psalm 119 the longest chapter in the Bible, it goes on, and on and on, it’s the psalmist is talking about he loves the word of God, he cherishes the word of God, he treasures the word of God, and as he writes you can just feel that the word is opening up before him so he can understand it, that it comes from the fundamental hunger and the longing to understand it.

He was remembering his sister as a child of a relative who would say, you know why she gains weight? It’s because she enjoys her food so much, that it just counts more, she just stores it up better. The idea is enjoy your food. And then don’t eat too much of it either. This idea is important, I really emphasize that element. We have to come to that place of really loving and enjoying the word of God. These days I think there is a lot of Christians who don’t really take time to enjoy the word and delight in it, and explore it and break it down. I think you have to honor and revere the word of God because the word of God is alive, it says, and I think when you do that, when you adopt that posture of faith and full enjoyment, the word delights in opening itself up to you and giving you all its nutrients and nourishing you in a very special, unique way.

There is no excuse for a Christian not to understand the basic overview of the Bible, what are the sections of Scripture, what are the books of Scripture, how is it organized, what are the main characters and events, how does it all fit together. There is no excuse for a Christian not to know this.

I was in a meeting with some of the men from the men’s ministry and I was referring to a particular verse from the Old Testament of the Bible − for Gideon and for God and for Gideon − he’s referring to this phrase from the Bible that could be kind of obscure, that some people might not know and he left it half way and he got such a kick out the fact that all the guys of the room finished the sentence for him. They knew that verse and he like, yeah! All right, these guys know their Bible.

I want Lion of Judah to be full of people that we would be known as a people who study the word of God because we delight, we enjoy, we’ve acquired the taste for the word of God.

It says and on his law he meditates day and night. Now, this should be more than just reading the Bible during times we set aside to read it, we’re talking about thinking about the word of God and verses and the teachings of God through the day, that this is something that is part of our inner thought process as we go about our business.

A healthy Christian spirituality should move in a constant spiritual atmosphere where we’re thinking all the time and relating everything we see and experience to the teachings of the word of God, the ethics of the word of God, the revelation of the word of God, everything we see, we see through the lens of the Bible because that’s what we’re thinking about as we go about our lives.

About nighttime as well, in the middle of the night, not just what you’re dreaming but when you’re kind of waking up and you’re kind of half awake and what do you think about then? Let your mind just naturally sort of drift to the word of God or some principle thought in Scripture, and I love to do that, wake up for some reason in the night and just let some truth about God, some thought about God or the Bible just calm my heart and low me back to sleep again.

We’re talking about being of the counsel of the wicked, we’re dwelling in the counsel of God. In Philippians 4 verse 8, it says, “…Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy think about such things…”

The reinforcement of your psyche, the strengthening, the supporting structure of your emotional life or your psyche. The word of God is strengthening, making it thicker, making it stronger, making it more substantial. Every deposit that is left, every residue that comes from your study of the word of God strengthens the foundation of your soul and I think that is the root and the origin of good emotional health and spiritual vitality, that word of God dwelling in abundance inside of you because you are meditating on it over, and over again. It becomes something that is always there, running like a subterranean current. You don’t even see it but it’s there and it is running below the consciousness of your life, strengthening you and allows you to experience well being.

So, what happens to the person who does this, who meditates on the word of God day and night? We see that this person is blessed. Now let’s see how the psalmist illustrates this blessed life. Don’t’ worry, give me another hour. Nobody is waiting of us, we’re all inside, but if you need to go you can walk out.

We’re comfortable, I’m having fun. He is like a tree planted by streams of water. Oh, man, don’t get me started, what a beautiful image. Think of a healthy strong tree near a running river with fresh, clean water, sipping through the earth, the subsoil and extending its roots and it is drinking from that moisture and receiving nutrients from the soil and receiving all that it needs to prosper and become powerful and strong and healthy.

The tree doesn’t need to be irrigated, doesn’t need someone to come with the truck and spray it, It’s ok, I’m good. I have got this river. [inaudible] Exactly.

Jesus had been thinking about this, when he says the one who believes in me streams of living water will flow from his inner most being. They don’t need to go somewhere to drink, it’s flowing out of them, the waters are there. We don’t need to go to the beach, the beach has come to him or her.

What we’re saying is you don’t need to go somewhere to artificially make yourself feel that you are ok. You are already ok, the life of God is already in you, you don’t need to seek a false state of happiness in some sort of drug or emotional experience, because we have the life of God within us constantly feeding.

You don’t have to go to find some sort of false kind of happiness, the club is inside you. You’re carrying a party around constantly within. You don t need to go somewhere else to have it done for you. Tree planted by streams of water.

A beautiful image of a mason who would have a saw that was cutting a sidewalk and you know that they can over heat so there was someone right there pouring water constantly on the blade of the saw to keep it from over heating and to keep the instrument from being damaged, and you could see the steam rising up. I thought, what a beautiful image, because as we go through life, as we spin through concrete and difficult situations we have to face, we can get burned, we can get tired, we can feel burned out but there’s a river, there’s streams of water that are constantly refreshing us to keep us fresh and alive.

As people go through life and you suffer the blows of life, the difficulties, the pains, the traumas that are natural, that we will all face, people can change. Think of the way you were when you were 20 or the way you are if you’re 20, when you feel you could just conquer the world and everything is going to go well, you could do anything and then things start happening and you go through some stuff and a person can lose their vigor and lose that adrenaline, that inner push that they have, and a person can get tired as they go through the years and lose that vigor that they had when they were younger.

And I believe that some of this decay happens not just because of biological reasons of physical kind of process, but some of it is mental, a lot of it is our attitude, because we’ve had certain experiences we’re fearful, we’re overly cautions, we’re not likely to take on certain risks or challenges because we’re afraid of what might happen. And so, our mind that sort of mental tiredness then influences our body and there’s even chemical results and we lose that vigor. So, it’s not just our body, it’s our attitude that is making us tired and wear down because we don’t have that refreshing water that is constantly washing over us and making us new.

It’s a psychosomatic process, psychological and physical being connected. So, the image we have in the psalm is one of renewed vigor, of renewed refreshment and health whose leaf does not wither. It’s even though I go through the valley of shadow of death, I will not fear because God is with me. So, the Christians because we have that meditation on the word of God, we have that living water flow into us, there is a renewal that we experience day by day and almost refreshing our youth and helping us to feel that strength even as the years go by.

And that is based on an attitude we need to cultivate. Every day we say, I could do all things to Christ who strengthens me. You’re taking a pill Philippians 4:13 just take it like a pill every day. In all these things I’m more than a conqueror [inaudible] morning, lunch and evening, take it like…confessing the word of God, confessing the promises of God, cultivating that positive attitude. We’re going to consume the word of God, we’re going to eat, we’re going to take those meaty verses and think about them, meditate them, digest them and let their health over flow from us.

We can read the papers today [inaudible] but sometimes we have to be more aggressive. In my life I’m always going to believe that God is more powerful, the one that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. I want to live with an aggressive attitude of expectation that God is with me, who can be against me? I want to cultivate the word of God, cultivate the promises of God, the older I get, the better [inaudible] because God is with me. I didn’t say that, but that’s ok.

Even though this outer man is going through decay, my inner man is being renewed day by day. Why? It’s plugged in to the waters of this river we’re tapped into it.

The youth, the young adults section back there, so, you, young adults if you want to end up being vigorous old people and not all broken down, start now, get tapped into that word of God, meditate on it, study it and love it, relish it, meditate on it, and you will become people who even in your old age your strength is renewed like the eagles.

I like verses like that one that says, “the righteous one will flower like the tree and will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon, planted in the house of God they’ll be strengthened, even in their old age they will bear fruit. They’ll be vigorous and strengthened to declare the goodness of God that in him there is not injustice but faith. When a man or a woman comes to a healthy old age it declares the faithfulness of God in their lives.

We have the right to expect that in our lives, they are promises in the word of God. The word says the young men will grow tired and weary and even young men will fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Why? Because their roots are planted near running water. Instead of life weakening and depleting their strength they are secretly drawing strength from an unseen fountain that enables to renew themselves and to withstand the tensions of life and gain strength even as they wane perhaps in physical strength, but other energies come to replenish and compensate for the loss of perhaps physical vitality.

Your life is a tree planted by streams of water. The image of the tree is planted by streams of water, God dug your tree out of a desert, he opened up the sands, he uprooted it and he transplanted it and put it by a river where I can feed of the waters that are constantly flowing.

I’m just going to keep on preaching by myself, you can all go home. I want to enjoy the word of God, enjoy the word. I’m declaring this word to heavens and to the devil, and also to people as well. We need to announce the word. It’s the base of the life of the child of God.

The path of the righteous is like the first light [inaudible] that becomes brighter and brighter until the full light of day. That’s your inheritance, it’s your promise, you have a right to live that. If you’re living something else you’re not enjoying what God has intended for your life. If you’re not enjoying it, fight for it, dig in and say, I will live that reality for my life. Don’t settle for mediocrity, don’t settle [inaudible] eat well in the Lord. If you’re not enjoying this abundant [inaudible] I’m going to see God, I’m going to enjoy what God has for my life.

You’ve got to fight for the blessing sometimes the enemy will come and plant himself before you so that you don’t live the reality in this [inaudible]. Things in life are going to conspire to try to spoil your joy. The devil, different situations are going to [inaudible] to make you feel that God is not with you and doesn’t love you, say, get behind me, Satan, my redeemer lives.

You have to fight for your blessing. The devil is not going to give you your blessing. Life is nurture in itself, the very essence of life is resistance to goodness. It is the tendency towards chaos and with the blessing that God has determined you have to fight for it, you have to claim it, you have to confess it, you have to dwell in it, you have to mine it in order to receive it and that is the only way. So, there is a position to the health and the blessing that God has for your life. Now, are you going to let the devil just take it or are you going to say, hey, that’s mine, give it back, in the name of Jesus, I want it. it belongs to me.

Every day I know more and more there is an enemy, there is a spiritual enemy, that does not want us to live in the blessing described here and he’s going to be in front of us and we’re going to have a choice, either we can run away or we can step over him to get what God wants us to be.

We have a little vacation house in Maine where we go and there’s a beautiful path in the woods I like to run on, and people in the woods have their house because it’s out on the middle of nowhere, they just let their dogs run free and sometimes I’m actually afraid to go running on this path because the dogs are coming at me. They’re barking, they’re chasing you, you know, I found myself stopped going down the path that I used to go on, that I loved. And I said, what’s going on here? I got a little Dominican here, I’m okay. so I found a stick, it’s about three and a half feet long, it’s heavy but not so heavy I couldn’t carry when I run, flexible but that it would hurt. So I run but when the dogs are coming I got it.

So, they started coming on me and when they saw the stick the dogs, a couple of times, they just ran another way, I didn’t even have to use it. The devil needs to see that you got a stick in your hands, if not he will be barking, biting your heels, following you intimidating you, he’ll try to get away your joy. We need to have the word as our stick, the authority that the word has. When the devil comes with his bad breath trying to sneer you, you’re going to be always sick, you’re going to be poor and it’s never going to change, you have to tell him what the word says, you get behind me, Satan. Use the word of God, grab onto that word of God. You’ll find they start being scared, the demons will be afraid of the word of God.

The Bible says nobody can pillage the house of a strong man unless he binds him first. But the strong man is comfortable in that house, they don’t want to let go. Confess the word of God, believe the word of God, it’ll have power to take away that strong so that you can enter into your blessing.

The Bible says that he yields his fruit in season. You’ve been called to bear fruit. You’ve been called to counsel those that are weak and suffering. You’ve been called to have sons and daughters that will grow up in the ways of God and be hard working and successful and healthy. You’ve been called to bring others to the ways of God and share the Gospel with them.

Yu have been called to do good, to do justice in the world, to make a difference and to be successful in the things of God that you take you, that’s what you’re called to do, fruits.

Jesus says, I have called you and appointed you that you would bear fruit and that your fruit would last. You were not called to be a consumer and to be a passive recipient of the things of God. No, you’re called to produce, to produce goodness, to make a contribution in the Kingdom of God, to bear fruit. Prosperity and material blessing, why is that given, so that you can be in a position to give and bless others and bless the kingdom. Believe in God, don’t settle for anything less than a life that bears fruit, that blesses those around you.

It says here, it give its fruit… when does the fruit come? In its time. It bears fruit in time. I believe that the life of a believer is a life led according to the rhythm of God, the seasons that are determined by God. You live in synchrony with God’s micro managing will.

There is nothing like finding peace in the rhythms in God in life, that you enjoy the things that you will enjoy in the timing of God, not in your own timing, not in things that you have forced to come into your life, perhaps prematurely. No, you learn to live life discerning the will of God and the moment when God wants you to enjoy something or to bear fruit in a certain way and you learn that peace inside of yourself, that if you don’t have now what you so desperately want, it’s okay, God has his moment and his time. I can live in peace with what I have now. It’s a very beautiful concept in its own time. Things are beautiful in their time.

And talk about the sources of good health and emotional health, one of them is learning to accommodate yourself to the rhythms of God and not live in haste, in anxiety trying to get things done and have them your way, in your time. No, you have to live life whether it is that person that you want to accompany you, that man or that woman that you want in your life, or that job that you so desire, or that pinnacle of success in your career or that house that you so want for yourself, or that academic achievement that you want to reach, that tenure in a professorship or the recognition of your piers, all these kinds of things, people are always living life with such haste and desire and grasping after these things, rather than learning that balance of working towards them but at the same time letting God have the last word in his time, and in his way. And if he says no, that’s cool, just come on, there’s so much else to enjoy in life. That’s a powerful foundation for good psychological wellbeing.

And there we have a healthy balance where we do our part, we’re not passive, but neither are we going to try to do God’s part, let him take care of his part and work with him. We see that with a healthy person of God, that God unfolds their life, he blesses their life in his own way, in his own timing and they just move forward with that. And that’s a type of blessing and growth that is solid, it took time to build but it will not be removed overnight either, it’s rooted, it’s from God and that cannot be taken away.

Ask the Lord to put you in that crevice of balance between striving and holy Godly effort, that medium point. It is the place of absolute rest and power. When you are there, you are like a magnet that attracts good things, without moving. You’re like a Zen master, the great things that are happening around you, you’re facilitating all kinds of circumstances because you are centered in your power and you don’t strive for things, things come to you because you have such a magnetic power inside of you. you are centered in God and God is providing all the good that it’s in your life.

In his time, that little phrase means so much. And it says, and its leaf does not wither. Again, it’s talking about old age, I think, and about the processes of life that tend to wear us down and destroy us. It is just that law of entropy that says that it’s inevitable that you will fall into decay, disorder and inefficiency, because that is the law of life. Well, the man, the woman who live their life centered on God, they reverse that law of chaos and inevitable decay. Somehow instead of withering, you are actually renewed and strengthened. You are not subject to the principle of death, which is the principle that rules de universe, but rather the principle of life governs your life. It’s a very powerful dynamic.

Struggle for this blessing. Its leaf won’t wither. None of those wonderful things that God has promised, your capacity to bear fruit, to bless others, to enjoy life, to think lucid, holly, wise, blessing thoughts, to laugh well, to enjoy a good meal or a good piece of music or art, to be a blessing to others that people want to be next to you because you are source of laughter and joy and good counsel and good conversation. You do not need to live in the expectation that those things are going to diminish with the passing of the years. On the contrary, I believe that the man, the woman that is being nourished by the nutrients of the kingdom, should expect that as time go by, instead of diminishing, they will grow in beauty, power and strength.

What kind of granny do you want to be? What kind of grandpa do you want to be? I want to be that one that they want to invite to the party because I’m there and people are gathering around, knowing this person has been through hell and back and they have life in them, and they have a humor and a life and a vitality that is contagious. That’s God’s promise for your life, that’s why God sent his Son to the cross, so that we might have life and have it abundantly.

And look how it ends, and everything that he does will prosper. It’s a scandalous promise. Everything you do will prosper. I know that what we do in the Lord, that entrepreneurial vision, what we undertake in the Lord will not fall to the ground. God will bless, our work in the Lord is not in vain.

I can know that the things that I’ve done through my life have been blessed at the end. God has given me the desires of my heart. And the things that I’ve desired, longed for, that my heart has longed for, there’s come that moment when I’ll hold it in my hands and I’ll say, God, is this the way you do with people like David, how merciful and generous and good you are. And we see that God comes through, he’s faithful to us.

I have come to those moments in my life, I have desired things for years and years, and years many times, I have labored for them and struggled and doubted, many times, will it come? And I have found myself one day holding that precious diploma, or looking at that wonderful building that is finished, or entering into that career that I wanted, or getting into that university that I had so desired, or having that place to retreat and enjoy the word and nature. I have seen it, since I was a little child, God blessing my life and giving me the desires of my heart because I have loved him desperately, I have not honored him always the way I should have, but God knows that I have loved him desperately. And I think that when a man or woman loves God like that, even though they make mistakes, God will delight himself in blessing and renewing and strengthening and replenishing, and giving them the desires of their heart. That is a promise of the word. I believe it. I have seen it in my life many times and I thank the Lord, I bless him for them.

Everything that you do I’m going to bless it, I’m going to prosper, I’m going to back you up. When the enemy comes against you I’ll be a wall around you. the enemy wants to pour cold water on you to swelter your joy and energy God says, I’m going to relight that fire in you, I will see that you burn with love for me.

When you come to that point where life makes you want to give up on your hopes and dreams, God says, I’m not done with you yet, the best is yet to come.

God saves the best wine for last. Just receive that word of God in your soul right now. Let it be like a seed of power and promise in your life. If you’re going through a difficult time that’s just a momentary thing, it’s just a passing thing, that’s just to make you stronger or to teach you a powerful principle that you would need later on in order to enter safer and enjoy the goodness of God’s promise and economy. So, don’t dwell in that moment, that moment is just a transition, a stage, there are good things that are coming ahead. Enjoy your life.

Enjoy the good things of life. Good music, good art, a good sunset, a good architecture. Enjoy it, that’s all for you. God has made it for you. God loves you and he’s happy with you, he’s pleased with you. you may not be perfect but your are dwelling in the approval of your father who loves and who says, I have good things for you. do not tell me what I think, because I know all my thoughts are for you. There are thoughts of good and not of evil, to give you the end that you desire. Jeremiah 29, this is the blessing for the children of God, the Bible pursues these promises. I try to [inaudible] God keeps throwing his promises despite myself, despite my own belief. He says, no, this is what I have for you, this is why I sent my Son to stop the work of the devil in your life, and to give you those things that you desire. This is why I created the earth, this is why I created the universe, that you might delight at it, that you may reign with me in it.

You’re blessed. Father we thank you.

Presentation by Roberto Miranda taped August 28, 2011 en Congregación León de Judá Listen | View(100K) | View(400K)

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I'm not going to go into great depth here but I was reading this sermon and it provoked me to anger. Because of my own personal reasons I stopped and starting composing a letter to someone out there! Not you I don't know why. Then I decided to take a break and go have a smoke on my balconey and thought some more, and the tears came and said "I don't want to go to hell". I had no intentions to finish your sermon but when I went back to the internet your sermon opened up (I guese I didn't close your web page) and I decided to read just a little bit more. I'm so sorry that I over reacted because it was like God pierced my heart and was confirming everything I needed to hear. Thank you for the rollercoast ride from anger to sad to joy. And I thank the Lord right now for keeping me up because of my feebleness and thank you for sharing your sermons for free. God bless.

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