Sermon November 25, 2012: Preparing to receive God, my joy and my delight

Posted in Sermons
[Sam Schutz]
  • Presenter: Dr. Sam Schutz
  • Date: November 25, 2012
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

And in our sermon this morning we are going to briefly meditate on one of the scriptures that compose that advent time to help us prepare for christmas. That scripture is in Salm 43 verse 3 and 4: "Send forth Your light and Your Truth, let them guide me. Let them bring me to Your Holy Mountain, to the place where you dwell, then I will go to the altar of God, my joy and my delight."

The sermon might be titled: "Preparing to receive God, my joy and my delight." Brothers and sisters these verses are a gold mine. Let's go digging for gold. One precious coming after another. First let us pray.

Now gracious Lord bless Your living Word to our hearts and to our lives in Your powerful resurrection name we pray, amen. Do you notice the salmist's words are prayer?. In this prayer the salmist is humble enough to cry out to God and wise enough to realize his absolute dependance upon God. He prays: send forth Your light and Your Truth. Humble enough to cry out to God, wise enough to realize his utter dependance upon God.

Oh Lord send forth Your light and Your Truth, let them guide me. In this year 2012 as our nation prepares for christmas how many in the United States are humbly crying out to God?. How many in our country are aware of our utter dependance upon God?. How many are eagerly looking forward this christmas to la Presencia de Jesucristo el Señor?.

But beyond our nation in general how about us christians?. Are we praying?. Send forth Your light and Your Truth, let them guide me. As we meditate on these verses this morning will you search your heart?. During all of these four weeks of advent that begin today will you pray with me as we prepare for christmas?. Lord send forth Your light and Your Truth, let them guide me.

Brothers and sisters our nation is in a desperate state today. Unless God intervenes with the light of His Truth, unless God intervenes in our behalf we are on a steep hill, slippery slope. And this slippery slope will lead inevitably to decline an ultimate disaster for our country. Do we realize what a desperate state our country is in?. God help us.

I'm seventy years of age this year and I've never seen our country in this level of darkness. I've been a counseling psychologist for forty years and during this time I've witnessed from one decade to the next the steady decline of moral values and the steady increase of social injustice and inequality. The rich become richer at the expense of the poor becoming poorer. An inescrupulous wealthy scoundrels at the top of society making their money by taking advantage of the poor people at the bottom and people at the bottom of society take advantage of one another.

The darkness of evil continues to get darker and darker. Sexual immorality begins with children now in their early teens and some even in literally elementary school. Sexual immorality is rampant at every age level and the final product of increasing sexual immorality is abortion on demand approved by legislature bodies and courts, and performed by medical staff without a conscience in abortion clinics.

The victims of abortion are both helpless infants whose lives are sacrificed and the mothers who are sacrificing their children. Our merciful God calls upon us to cry out to Him. The darkness of evil continues to get darker and darker. Our environment is increasingly polluted by reckless living. We are poisoning the air and the land, the streams and lakes, and the ocean. The darkness of evil continues to get darker and darker.

Addictions of all forms are destroying the lives of individuals and their loved ones. Alcohol and other forms of chemical addiction. Sexual addictions are now being called normal by the secular mental health community, by the legal courts and these are abomination to God. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles are destructive to the individuals that practice them and by their very nature of the time they are tearing the very structure of our society apart. As a society we are calling what is bad good and what is good bad. Our immorality defies rationality. The darkness of evil continues to get darker and darker.

In this advent season what is our response as christians to the desperate and declining state of our cities?, our state, our nation and our world. God calls us His Church to action, to authentic love, to spiritual warfare against all the powers of darkness. The apostle Paul declares to Timothy that the Church of the living God is the pilar and foundation of the Truth. Jesus declared: I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

As God's Church let's pray and move in action, move in action through authentic love. We begin by praying: Lord send forth Your light and Your Truth to guide me. Today the Church may seem weak but do not be deceived by mere appearances and do not get discouraged. Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awesome God.

There is a principle through Church's history that when darkness becomes darker, darker and even darker and when all hope seems to be lost, and when God's Church cries out to Him in desperation only then He comes in power and great glory, in great awakening and great revival. When God comes, when God reveals Himself the darkness of evil is erradicated and destroyed by God's light itself. Hearts and hardened hearts become convicted of sin and as their hearts soften and they repent they turn to God.

Individuals turn to God and are saved. Marriages turn to God and are saved. Families turn to God and are saved. Communities turn to God and are saved. Entire nations turn to God and are saved. God declares in Second Corinthians 7:14: "If my people called My name, humbling themselves and praying and seeking My face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and will hear their land."

I will forgive their sins, I will heal their land. In today's sermon text the salmist tells us how we may turn to God for the forgiveness of our sins and the healing of our land. Our text prepares us for the advent of la Presencia of God Himself on christmas morning. Emmanuel, God with us in the person of baby Jesus in the manger of Bethlehem. Here again the text: "Oh Lord send forth Your light and Your Truth, let them guide me. But then bring me to Your Holy Mountain, to the place where You dwell, then will I go to the altar of God. To God, my joy and my delight."

The salm gives us a clear road map to enter into God's Presencia to receive forgiveness and healing. Are you here this morning aware for your own need of healing, or perhaps the need of healing of a loved one, or perhaps your entire family?. Walk with me through the remaining of this Salm and the salmist will guide you step by step to forgiveness and to healing to be set free. Oh Lord send forth Your light and Your Truth.

The light and the truth who will guide us is a person who is our guide, none other than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus declared: I am the light of the world and I am the way, the Truth and the life. Pray loud after me as Pastor Miranda prays and invite our Lord Jesus to be our guide.

(After prayer) There are three steps as we follow our God. The first is bring me to Your Holy Mountain where You dwell. The second step is then I go to the altar of God. The third after going to the altar of God is to receive the Presence itself. To God my joy and my delight.

First the Lord Jesus guides us to the Holy Mountain. God is a gracious host and He loves to extend hospitality to us. Brothers and sisters God's love is holy love, pure love. He lives on a Holy Mountain and He invites us to join Him there, as He invites us to His Presence He has only one condition: we must leave behind our lies, our deception and our sinful contaminations. Jeremiah says: "The heart is deceiving above all things and full of evil." We cannot prepare to enter into God's Presence by cleaning ourselves up because we are powerless to do so.

Our host God Himself will forgive us and cleans us from our sins if we simply ask Him to do so. As we pray bring me to Your Holy Mountain we are confessing our sins, repenting and asking Him to make us holy. To summarize: the first step is to accept God's invitation to His Holy Mountain to the place where He dwells. Have you ever prayed to God confessing your sins and asking our Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you and to clean you?. He died on the cross and rose again from the dead to demonstrate His eternal love for us.

Will you pray and ask Him for the gift of His love?. To fill you with His pure and holy love. He died on the cross and rose again from the dead to conquer and cancel all the power of darkness, will you pray and ask Him to fill you with His holy love?. If you wish to follow the Lord Jesus Christ our guide into life and into truth to prepare to enter His Holy Mountain, to the place where He dwells pray with Pastor Roberto silently as he prays aloud.

The second step after going to the Holy Mountain that is the place where God dwells is to go to the altar of God. The altar is the place of sacrifice. Christ sacrificed His life for us and conquered sin and deaht on our behalf. Now He calls us to lovingly sacrifice our lives to Him, not to be a death sacrifice but a living sacrifice. The second step is to follow our guide the Lord Jesus Christ in loving sacrifice, living loving sacrifice. He gives us the grace and power to do so.

Living sacrifice is the only authentic way to genuine love and joy. This may be illustrated by marriage. In fact God uses the picture language in the Bible of marriage to illustrate His own relationship with His Church. Now I am a marriage counselor, when a couple comes to me for reconciliation and to heal their marriage the breakthrough comes when they realize that a joy for marriage consists of living loving sacrifice. I counsel them to have a contest; husband try to beat your wife in sacrificial love for her, wife try to beat your husband in sacrifical love for him, then in result real sacrifice on both of their parts produces real joy for them both. Living loving sacrifice produces shared living love.

God the second person of the Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ lived His life in Earth all the way to complete sacrifice for us and He continues to love us with an eternal love for us to enter the fullness of His Presence, we must give our lives in living loving sacrifice to Him.

We conclude the sermon with the third step in our biblical text. Notice verse four when we go to the alter of God and give ourselves to Him in complete living loving sacrifice, we come directly into the Presence of God, to God's joy and delight. Let us all pray together the words on the overhead as Pastor Roberto leads us.

Our God: in truth we are desperate for You. Come Holy Spirit and bring to our awareness the reality of how desperate we are and all we love the Gospel. We are so greatful Lord Jesus that you have broken the powers of Satan and of hell. We love the Gospel. By Your Grace you call us to come freely to receive Your forgiveness, Your cleansing, Your adoption. We pray now God that you speak to our hearts as Your Word has been delivered. We pray that you will take Your Word now for each of us and apply it to our lives, in Your powerful resurrection name we pray, amen.


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