FEBRUARY IS LOVE MONTH – PART 3

LOVE MONTH 2013 SERMON #3:
“If you love Me, set Me apart” (Psalm 4:2)
FBC Earlville 2-17-13 10:30 AM Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor

INTRODUCTION Today’s special: “Lost in translation”
Two American tourists are driving through Wales. They decide to stop for a bite to eat in the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogo-gogoch.
Baffled by the name, one of them turns to a local and asks, “Would you please say where we are—very slowly?” The Welshman leans over and says, very slowly, “Burrr-gerrr Kinngg.”

Last week’s message dealt with sacrificing our best for God, just like Abraham did when he obeyed God and was willing to sacrifice his son. What is your best – your family? your job? your time? your money? The question is simple – do they belong to you, or do they belong to God? When they belong to God, then you have applied the message to your heart.
Today is a simple follow-up – what does someone look like who hasn’t sacrificed his best to God? What if I REFUSE to abandon my life to God – what will my love look like then? Turn to Psalm 4 PRAYER

#1 AS FONZ WOULD SAY, “EH” (Psalm 4:2)
The Fonz looked at himself in the mirror and simply said, “eh” – “I’m ok – can’t improve on perfection!”
Our previous generation called the piece of furniture which had a mirror on top, a “vanity”! No wonder that today’s generation struggles with such a term!
Let’s look at the various translations of Psalm 4:2, and see what the Lord says about those who have NOT abandoned themselves to God: “vanity” (KJV) “love delusions (and seek false gods)” (NIV)
“worthlessness” (NKJV) “lies” (The Message) “futility (and seek after lies) (Amplified)
“what is false, empty…and seek false gods” (Expanded Bible – 2011)
“pine for the fruitless (and dream delusions)” (The Voice 2012)
The Scriptures show – in various versions – that if we are not loving the Lord, we are loving that which makes our lives EMPTY.
* And what does the tele-commercial then say, “BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!”

#2 AS THE SEARCHER WOULD SAY, “OH” (“vanity” in Ecclesiastes)
In KJV “vanity” appears 79 times, 28 in book of Ecclesiastes alone. Solomon, near the end of his life, is searching life for the foundation of love.
Ecc. 1:1,2 – the Searcher comes up empty Illus.: blowing bubbles!
2:1-11 – the burden of all men, and the search comes up empty
4:4 – the keeping up with the Jones’ mindset comes up empty
5:10 – wealth produces emptiness 8:14 “bad things to good people”
11:8-10 the emptiness of youth 12:1,8 remember, or forsake, the Creator

CONCLUSION: AS THE FINDER WOULD SAY, “AH” (Ps. 4:6-8)
The fruit of our calling upon the Lord should be a dissatisfaction with everything the world offers – AND a peace in the Lord while IN the world

Clara Williams, 1875, thought that as well, as she wrote “Satisfied”
All my life long I had a longing for a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning of the thirst I felt within.

Feeding on the husks around me, till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better, only still to hunger on.

Poor I was, and sought for riches, something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

CHORUS:
Hallelujah! I have found Him Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings – thru His blood I now am saved.

Well of water ever springing, bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth, my Redeemer is to me.

We need to remind ourselves every day: the Lord has set us apart for Himself, and the result is an intimate walk – and life – with God! (v. 3)
We need to ask ourselves every day: do we love the things that leave us empty, OR do we love the Lord? Have we set HIM apart? PRAYER

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