The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 11:23-31 The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him. He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wise hearted. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls. If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!
As Sovereign King Church moves further into 2020, one thing you will notice is that we have a pretty busy calendar. The men of the Church, led by Pastor Joseph and our provisional Elder Stephen Baker, have laid out a bold course for Sovereign King Church, from fellowship opportunities, to evangelism, routine duties, and even issues as seemingly insignificant as selecting carpet meant to help beautify the area around the pulpit. The men of SK have stepped up to lead, and all who are members will be asked to serve where their time, talents, resources, and desires may permit it. In all of the planning, coordination, and vision casting, it was our desire to lay plans which glorified God.
There are many moving parts to what we are seeking to do this year. Looking back over my notes from the retreat it became clear to me that one of the biggest changes from last year to this, comes in the way we have handled the division of labor in the Church. Many more people will have opportunities to serve, lead a ministry, coordinate an event, and use their gifts to serve the body.
Along with this, will come more opportunities for conflict:
“So and so forgot to send out the email”
“I don’t like the backdrop, wrong design and terrible color”
“Why didn’t the Pastor pick me for the task? Doesn’t he know how gifted I am?”
“Why do I have to do everything?”
“So and so doesn’t contribute anything around here”
“It always has to be his way”
If we are going to start off 2020 by casting vision, let us not kid ourselves by thinking that sin is not lurking around the corner waiting for an opportunity to pounce upon us and bring division into our little Church. Anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time knows that fights over the color of the carpet are not fantasy. They happen. Petty squabbles can divide and destroy churches, and our schedule this year will provide many opportunities for conflict among us.
As we begin to work the plan in 2020, let us consider a verse from our passage today: “The desire of the righteous is only good”.
Matthew Henry says this regarding verse 23:
“The righteous would have good, only good; all they desire is that it may go well with all about them; they wish no hurt to any, but happiness to all; as to themselves, their desire is not to gratify any evil lust, but to obtain the favour of a good God and to preserve the peace of a good conscience; and good they shall have, that good which they desire”
In 2020, as we serve alongside one another to the glory of our Great God, let us think good of one another. Let us see the good in others. Let us not be bent towards nit picking, psychoanalyzing, and tearing apart someone’s motivations for doing this, or approach to doing that, but let us rather believe that we all truly are brothers and sisters with the same loving Heavenly Father, and we are all working together for the good of the body. Let us bless, rather than curse. Let us help build rather than tear one another down. Let us desire only good for others, think good of others, and love one another as Christ loved us, giving himself as a sacrifice for our sins. You know the temptation for strife and conflict is there, let us entrust our souls to our faithful Creator.
Please kneel as we confess our sins to Almighty God, Who remembers our frames, that we are but dust.
Your Word tells us that man makes plans, and You direct our steps. We have made many plans Father, and we pray that You would bless them. We pray that in all our doing, you would grant us grace, that we may see the good in others. We ask for Your grace so that in all we say, do, and think, our hearts are bent toward doing good. Father, please help us to seek only what is good for others, and to think charitably of other people’s intentions. Father, for us to ignore the threat of division caused by sin would be foolish. Please help us to maintain the bond of peace within Sovereign King, and to live peaceably with all men so much as it depends upon us. Please forgive us for not wanting what is good for others, and not seeing the good in others. Please forgive us for any selfish desires, or wicked ambitions which would seek to elevate our desires above your will and the good of others. Father, please help us to love one another as your Son loves us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Please stand, and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:3
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 1/51/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)