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Sermon – 1/12/03
Your Thoughts - Psalm 139:1-3


Your Thoughts

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts from afar.  You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways
(Psalm 139:1-3)

At New Years, we spent two nights on the Queen Mary.  The ship’s cabins had surprisingly thin walls and the man and woman in the next room were quite talkative.  We didn’t want to hear what they were saying, but normal conversation next door was as though no walls existed between us.

In the mornings, he announced, “Sweetie” (giving her time, no doubt, to get as far away as possible), “I’m going to blow my nose.”  There would be a pause, and then, loud sounds would start to occur, disturbingly reminiscent of the plight of an injured seal. 

We were forced to learn that “You don’t care about my opinions and you don’t care about anything I say”, was her estimation of their relationship.  As time went on, we began to lack sympathy for her plight, hoping merely that the conversation would finally end.

We inadvertently learned what they DID in the evenings and mornings, and they helped us know the time of day.  For instance, they went somewhere early in the morning, and we know precisely when, for she asked, “What time is it,” to which he answered, “5:12” along with other information.  This may be the point they finally left us for good, because, after a lot of zipping and bumping, we didn’t hear from them again.

The people on the other side were very quiet, no doubt finding US to be their loud neighbors; perhaps achieving final relief when WE left for good.

Millennia ago, Our Lord shocked His hearers during the “Sermon on the Mount,” telling them that God’s awareness of us is much more profound than anticipated.  Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).  The walls are thin between eternity and this planet, and God intimately knows your thoughts, counting them just as though you did the thing you thought about.  Your thoughts, to Him, are like He’s in the “room” with you.  And He is.

That He knows your thoughts is also stated in Psalm 139:1-3, where David observed, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off.  You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways”. 

From God’s perspective, it is as though He is indeed in the same room with us, hearing the whispers in our minds.  We may look good when we’re out with others, but from God’s perspective, people are somewhat like gang members, continually up to no good.  The gang member might be on his best behavior in the presence of his little mother and others he cares for, but he tends to act and speak differently when he thinks he is “alone”.

Another culprit, for the Lord, would be the business person, who seems to be a loving spouse or parent in one context, but cheats in business and defrauds the government in another.  God sees our thoughts and knows our intentions.

Can you imagine that?  The thoughts expressed in the next cabin on the boat were actually comparatively mild and were merely tiresome, because it was supposed to be our time to rest in the quiet of our cabin.  Only two nights and one couple were involved, but it seemed like hundreds of people that talked forever.

At present count, the Lord is experiencing the actual thoughts and intentions of over six billion people.  Even so-called “nice” people of this world have negative thoughts, including annoyances at neighbors, friends, relatives and casual strangers.  We could not bear even ONE of them for any time, but the Lord is enduring us all.  “Enduring” is not the right word, for He is God, and He loves you and me.  This was shown when the Son of God experienced your sins and mine on the Cross at Calvary.

A discussion among theologians has been: does God hear the prayers of sinners?  Will He respond to your request when you do not believe in Him?  In John 9:31, a man who had been blind and was healed by Jesus, answered his accusers, "We know God DOES NOT HEAR SINNERS; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him."  In the Old Testament, the Lord said through Zechariah, "They called out and I would not listen" (Zechariah 7:13).  He knew they "called out", but did not respond to their immediate need.  The question is answered when you consider that we are “ALL sinners” (Romans 3:23) but He hears us anyway. 

The real question is, does God ANSWER the prayers of the unrepentant?  The correct answer is, sometimes yes and in other situations no.  The reason God acts or does not act in relation to certain prayers, is always found in His real purpose for your life.  You were created to enter into a relationship of trust and love with God that will last - forever!  He WILL answer the sinner's prayer, if it will lead the sinner to faith in the Lord.

The man who had been blind in John Chapter 9, was not yet a believer in Jesus Christ.  This is seen where Jesus later asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  He responded, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"  Jesus answered, "It is He who is talking with you."  The man answered, "Lord, I believe" (John 9:35-38).  The man was healed (John 9:6 & context) and then he subsequently believed (John 9:38).

It's obvious that God hears - everything!  As discussed, He even knows our thoughts.  It is no use for you to be outwardly religious and yet inside, harbor resentments, anger and lust.  He knows us for who we are.  He is precisely “in the cabin with us” at all times.  The only solution is to simply GIVE your unrepentant heart to Jesus Christ.  Just like it was for the formerly blind man in John Chapter 9, it is for you - He loves you and will heal you!

Father, I know “You understand my thoughts from afar” and “are acquainted with all my ways”.  I confess that I am a sinner, in need of Your love.  I accept the grace of God, offered in the Cross of Jesus Christ, and Lord, I believe in You, now.  Thank You for saving me.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

    Ron Beckham, Pastor
   Friday Study Ministries

Tel: (562) 688-5559
    PO Box 92131
    Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
    "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)



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