Read: Psalm 16, Colossians 1:13-23, and John 14:1-11
Sermon: “The Lord is My Inheritance”
God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom, where the morning is bright and the Lamb is the light, and the night is as bright as the day. Praise be to God that we have nothing to fear from the outer darkness (see Matt. 22:13) which is separation from God.
Hear this from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 “Be Ready for the Day of the Lord. Brothers and sisters, you don’t need anyone to write to you about times and dates. (Matthew 24:36 “No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows.)
You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “Everything is safe and sound!” destruction will suddenly strike them. It will be as sudden as labor pains come to a pregnant woman. They won’t be able to escape. But, brothers and sisters, you don’t live in the dark. That day won’t take you by surprise as a thief would. You belong to the day and the light not to the night and the dark.”
The day of the Lord will come suddenly when least expected. So we must be ready at all times. In Matthew 25:1-8 Jesus tell a story about Ten Bridesmaids, some are ready for the darkness and some are not.
“When the end comes, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids. They took their oil lamps and went to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they didn’t take any extra oil. The wise bridesmaids, however, took along extra oil for their lamps. Since the groom was late, all the bridesmaids became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight someone shouted, ‘The groom is here! Come to meet him!’ Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.
“The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.’
“But the wise bridesmaids replied, ‘We can’t do that. There won’t be enough for both of us. Go! Find someone to sell you some oil.’
“While they were buying oil, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready went with him into the wedding hall, and the door was shut.
“Later the other bridesmaids arrived and said, ‘Sir, sir, open the door for us!’
“But he answered them, ‘I don’t even know who you are!’
“So stay awake, because you don’t know the day or the hour.”
What can we expect when the Lord comes? What will He look like?
God can’t be seen directly. We can see his creation and his works everywhere. Romans 1:19-20 “What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse.”
God is visible in his creation. However, He does not want to be worshiped “through” that which He has created. The third of the Ten Commandments is, “Never have any other god. Never make your own carved idols or statues that represent any creature in the sky, on the earth, or in the water. Never worship them or serve them, because I, the Lord your God, am a God who does not tolerate rivals.”
In Deuteronomy 4:15-18 it says this about God, “You didn’t see the Lord the day he spoke to you from the fire at Mount Horeb. So be very careful that you don’t become corrupt and make your own carved idols. Don’t make statues that represent men or women, any animal on earth, any creature with wings that flies, any creature that crawls on the ground, or any fish in the water. Don’t let yourselves be tempted to worship and serve what you see in the sky—the sun, the moon, the stars, or anything else.”
Jesus, in John 4:23-26 declares, “Indeed, the time is coming, and it is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The Father is looking for people like that to worship him. God is a spirit. Those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything.” (Messiah is the one called Christ.)
Jesus told her, “I am he, and I am speaking to you now.”
So, God the Father is a Spirit. And how do we go about “seeing” God? Our scripture says, Colossians 1:15 “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God.” and Colossians 1:19 “God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ.” When Philip asked to see the Father, Jesus said to him in John 14:9, “The person who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Jesus is the visible portion of the triune God. God in three persons and yet one God. I have given this illustration of my understanding of how God can be One and Three at the same time.
I picture God the Father as liquid water, every living thing on Earth contains water and without water there is no life.
Jesus, I equate to ice. He is the visible, tangible portion of the Godhead.
The Holy Spirit is steam, that invisible and yet powerful force.
Just as water, ice, and steam are identical … that is H2O … two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom …, so God is God, without changing His nature, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
John 1:1-4 “In the beginning the Word (that is Jesus) already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was already with God in the beginning. Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him. He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity.”
Colossians 1:17 “Jesus existed before everything and holds everything together. He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers—everything has been created through him and for him.”
Colossians 1:19 “God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross.”
Colossians 1:21 “Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude. But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame.”
John 14:1-4 “Don’t be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in me. My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
That is why I’ll Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace; In the mansions bright and blessed He’ll prepare for us a place. And, Some glad morning when this life is over I’ll fly away! To a home on God’s celestial shore I’ll fly away!
That is why you and I can say with the Psalm 16:5-6, “The Lord is my inheritance and my cup. You (God) are the one who determines my destiny. Your boundary lines mark out pleasant places for me. Indeed, my inheritance is something beautiful.” There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see. There will be peace in the valley for you and for me.
Paul reminds us in Colossians 11:23 “This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains.
Let us then be true and faithful, Trusting, serving every day; Just one glimpse of Him in glory Will the toils of life repay. .Onward to the prize before us! Soon His beauty we’ll behold; Soon the pearly gates will open; We shall tread the streets of gold.
All scripture quotes are from GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Protect me, O God, because I take refuge in you. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord. Without you, I have nothing good.” Those who lead holy lives on earth are the noble ones who fill me with joy. Those who quickly chase after other gods multiply their sorrows. I will not pour out their sacrificial offerings of blood or use my lips to speak their names. The Lord is my inheritance and my cup. You are the one who determines my destiny. Your boundary lines mark out pleasant places for me. Indeed, my inheritance is something beautiful. I will praise the Lord, who advises me. My conscience warns me at night. I always keep the Lord in front of me. When he is by my side, I cannot be moved. That is why my heart is glad and my soul rejoices. My body rests securely because you do not abandon my soul to the grave or allow your holy one to decay. You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.
God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers—everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything and holds everything together. He is also the head of the church,which is his body. He is the beginning, the first to come back to life so that
he would have first place in everything. God was pleased to have all of himself
live in Christ. God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross.
Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude. But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame. This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains. You’ve heard this Good News of which I, Paul, became a servant. It has been spread throughout all creation under heaven.
* John 14:1-11
“Don’t be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in me. My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. So how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him through me and have seen him in me.”
Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will satisfy us.”
Jesus replied, “I have been with all of you for a long time. Don’t you know me yet, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I’m telling you doesn’t come from me. The Father, who lives in me, does what he wants. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe me because of the things I do.