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September 8, 2012 Psalm 145 ABC, 123, penny, nickel, dime how

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September 8, 2012
Psalm 145
ABC, 123, penny, nickel, dime ... how to make a buck? What is the
most important thing you teach your children? Right from wrong. Do; do
not. Do look both ways. Don’t play in the street. What is the most
important thing you teach your children? Cover your mouth; wash your
hands. Say “please” and “thank you.” What is the most important thing you
teach your children? Right from wrong, do - do not, that can be good stuff teaching that can save a life. ABC, 123, penny, nickel, dime ... teaching
math, money, reading and writing can set your children up for success in the
world.
What is the most important thing to teach our children? Depends on
what we want for them. We can settle. We can settle for good manners and
good behavior. We can settle for good job and good pay or the chance at a
good job and good pay, there are no guarantees. Yes, we can settle. Or we
can give our families something better, with a guarantee, God’s guarantee.
We can give them the answer to all their needs, or we can settle. We can we
can give them a hand always ready to pick them up no matter how far they
fall, or we can settle. We can give them the best of God’s goodness, or we
can settle.
Settling is easier. It’s easier to settle for good manners and good
behavior - especially since good manners and good behavior aren’t what they
used to be. It’s easier to settle for smiles - give most any of us enough sugar
and a color screen and we’ll smile at you. And it’s easier to settle for
teaching for a good job, good pay - the devil’s not fighting that. Rich or
poor, the devil doesn’t care ... as long as we settle. As long as we settle for
the good of this world, we set ourselves up, we set our families up, we set our
children up, to miss the best of God.
David knew the best of God - and it wasn’t big dollars or a big house.
David knew the best of God - “The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has
compassion on all he has made.”
David knew the best of God by experience. You might remember how
David settled for the good looks and the good feelings of the world. As a
father, as the leader of his people, he took the easy way out. He let himself
get distracted by the good looks, the good feelings of the world. He killed
for those good looks and good feelings. And he deserved to die. David
knew it; God knew it. But God was gracious and compassionate, slow to
anger ... and forgiving. Yes, David knew the best of God by experience. As
a father, again and again David took the easy way out - letting his children
have their way instead of doing the hard thing and calling them back to
God’s way. As a father, David took the easy way out and instead of winning
his children’s smiles, his children lost and David lost almost everything. But
the LORD picked him up before all was lost.
David knew the best of God. When David was at his worst, God was
gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. When David
fell, his LORD picked him up. When David needed a champion to fight for
him, to protect and deliver him; the LORD delivered. When David needed a
hand with food and drink, house and home, and whatever else, the LORD
opened his hand and provided.
David knew the best of God and he wasn’t going to take that for
granted, settling for the good of the world - he set his heart and mind to think
more and more on the wonderful works of God. David knew the best of God
and he wasn’t going to keep it to himself - “one generation will commend
your works to another; they will tell of you mighty acts.” David had a
hard time with his own children, but for generation after generation David
has been proclaiming the great works of God.
David knew the best of God; from one generation to another he
proclaimed the best of God. You know the best of God even clearer. Not
because we’re more modern, not because of science, but because of Jesus.
David knew God would set up his son as King to rule forever - somewhere,
sometime, some-how. You know that king as Jesus. You get to share Jesus
as Champion, as Savior, as King to keep you safe forever. David knew the
horror facing God’s King: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken
me!” You get to share what that horror means - there on the cross Jesus was
facing God’s anger, God’s judgment. Instead of God taking out his anger on
you and me ... instead of God damning you and me, Jesus paid for your sin
and mine ... in the horror of the cross Jesus took away the sin of the world.
Because Jesus faced that horror, we get to face God and live.
Yes, we get to face God and live. David knew Jesus’s confidence “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in
your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” David shared
that confidence: “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of
my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!” But we get to
tell even better! We get to tell the history ... we get to tell the mighty works
of God ... we get to tell the end of death - on the third day, God raised Jesus
back to life. We get to tell Jesus’ promise - “Because I live, you also will
live.”
David got to tell how the Lord saved him from lion and bear and giant
Goliath. We may not have any lion, or bear, or angry giant stories, but you
can tell what God has done for you. David got to tell about the power of
guilt and heartbreak, and he got to tell about the greater power of God’s
peace and promise. We may not feel as open as David. And sometimes, you
might see some eyes roll. Don’t let that stop you. Plant the seed and let God
grow it.
I know that sometimes that’s a challenge. But moms and dads, you
don’t have to do this alone. Here at St. John we have teachers who have
committed themselves not to settle, but to share the best of God. Here at St.
John we have Sunday School teachers who love (I’ve seen it; I’ve heard it,
they love) that they get to share the best of God.
Don’t settle for the good of the world, you get to share the best of God.
Don’t make that decision for your children - that they should have to settle;
set them up with school, set them up with Sunday School to have the best of
God.
And moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and all the rest of us, don’t
settle for fading memories and Sunday snippets of God’s best. Join us in a
Bible Class. Do like David, and sit down with your Bible at home. Maybe
you’re not into the book thing; if you need it on a screen ... if you prefer to
hear it ... go to our website for a daily devotion, a slice of the best of God.
ABC, 123, good manners and good behavior, teaching that sets us up
for a good job and good pay, are all good. But don’t settle for good. Fill
your hearts ... fill your families with the best of the LORD. Amen.
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