The Jehovahs Witnesses have a display stand in the street with the headline ‘What does the Bible really say?’ A lot of people have no idea and even some Christians don’t know their Bible very well.
Outside a building site was a sign ‘Caution site entrance.’ It seems sometimes that the same sign is in people’s minds about heaven. It might be dangerous so we had better be careful.
We urgently need more information to be able to act correctly when it comes to the things of God. Psalm 145 tells us about the character of God.
The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)
We all fall. People will say, ‘Pull yourself together’, or, ‘Read a self help book’ (the US market in self help books is $11 billion). We can’t do it on our own.
The character of God v3-6
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. (Psalm 145:3-6)
Meditation means to think deeply about God. Do we take time to think about God?
Relationship with God v8, 15-16,18-20
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 145:8)
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:15-16)
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfils the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psalm 145:18-20)
A man bought snacks in a supermarket costing £3 and he gave the cashier a £10 note, but she gave him £17 change. It was tempting to keep the money, but he pointed it out to her and she insisted he gave her a £20 note. The manager had to be called before the cashier finally accepted that she had given the man too much change. This is like grace – we are given too much, too many blessings that we do not deserve.
We tune into other things during the day (a survey found that on average people check their phone 120 times a day). We look at Facebook to see what our friends and family are doing. We need to tune in to God.
There is a hard verse in this Psalm:
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psalm 145:20)
God is a just God and is with those who are in pain, but this life is not everything. This Psalm reveals the whole character of God, not just the nice things.
What should be my response?:
- How can I call on him more consistently?
- What good habits will I establish?
- What bad habits will I stop?
[based on a sermon by Gareth Hill at Pantygwydr Baptist Church]
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk