Good Monday Morning To You!
I trust you have had a great week since we met last. For those of you who are new to Monday Morning With Pastor Vic, let me say, “Welcome” to you. Did you see any of the 9-11 remembrances? I did not see many, but the pre-game remembrances put on by the New York Jets was the most touching and awesome thing I have ever seen on television. I've seen lots of good on TV, but this was television's finest hour. It is my intention to e-mail NBC and ask them to replay it. If it is ever available as a memorial CD, sign me up for a copy. My favorite song in the whole world is Amazing Grace, they played it as part of the ceremony --- on the bagpipes. When I hear it played on bagpipes, I feel I'm as close to Heaven as I can be yet still be on earth. Years ago my family was directed to be sure the bagpipe version of Amazing Grace was played at my funeral. If you're there, don't be too surprised if I sit up so I can listen too. Again, my hat is off to the Jets for such a fine program. I did, however root for the Dallas Cowboys. Other than my hometown Bengals, I'm a Cowboy fan. One of the things on my bucket list is to see a Dallas game at Cowboy Stadium.
I know you must get tired of hearing this, but yesterday's service at Friendship Harmony was absolutely fantastic. Brother Ken's selection of songs is what sets the tone. Our people sing like they are part of the Brooklyn Choir! I wish everyone of you readers could experience a Friendship Harmony Baptist service. It would absolutely bless your soul. Never in my 39 years of ministry have I ever been privileged to be part of such a fine church. I thought there would never again be a church like Calvary Baptist in Norwood/Oakley, (Cincinnati). I was wrong! I believe God saved my best for last! I thank Him and praise Him for it!
The message was from Psalm 97:10-12. It was about making the right choices. Verse 10 says those who love God should hate evil. Hating evil is not only hating to see evil acts performed by others, but here hating means to reject; to not choose. We are told to not choose evil. Sadly, many believers believe that the sins committed by others are evil, but theirs are only "minor infractions.” All sin is an affront to God: yours, mine, and theirs. Therefore, if you love God, do not choose sin. I heard a song the other day that said, “Jesus is second to none.” When we choose sin, we are saying, “Jesus is second to my desires." That is not loving God. If I sound like I'm preaching, you're right --- I am. It's what I do. It's called standing in the gap. I must tell you what the Scriptures say because God holds you to them whether you know them or not. The verse goes on to say that God is quite able to deliver you. The Greek literally means He snatches you away from the hand of the wicked; ultimately, the wicked one.
Verse 11 is a verse that on the surface is an encouragement, but in reality it is also a very deep theological statement. The first part speaks of Light being sown for the righteous. Notice I have capitalized the "L" in the word Light. That sown Light is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the righteous. Jesus said John 8:12,” I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Righteous means, “right with God." As a believer, you are righteous. The Light is there for you, therefore you can reject (hate) sin! However, that verse has a second part. That part says,”...and gladness for the upright in heart.” The word “and' links the word “sown,” so that as Light is sown for the righteous, gladness is sown for the upright in heart. This part of the verse is speaking of the Holy Spirit. The New Living Translation reads, “ Light shines on the godly,and joy on those who do right.” (Psalm 97:11 (NLT) You have joy in the Lord thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Verse 11 reads, “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Those who are rejoicing in the Lord will not choose evil. Are you rejoicing in Him? As you think of His holiness, you can do nothing else but rejoice! Let me leave you with this suggestion. The next time you are tempted to choose wrong, tell the Devil, “Wait just a minute.” Then start reflecting on the holiness, goodness, and grace of God. I guarantee you God will deliver, and Satan will flee.
Have a good week these upcoming days. If this blog is a blessing to you, feel free to share it with others that you know. You can print it to give to them, or share the web address. If it has helped or blessed you, it might help others. I hope so; that is the reason the blog exists.
Be sure to pray for me when it goes well with you, and I'll see you next week on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.