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Sermon – 8/17/03
Rent-A-Car - Psalm 50:10


 Audio Sermon


For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10)

I've been driving an automobile that isn't mine.  No, I didn't steal it or borrow the car - it's a rental, obtained after mine was recently rear-ended in traffic.  I drove around in it just as though it was mine.  I played the radio, changed lanes, parked it, opened and closed the sun roof, generally doing everything a car owner does, but I was not the owner.  It was a cute little Volvo, and I got so I liked it so much so that it was difficult to turn it back in.  Finally, reluctantly, I turned it back to its rightful owner.

It's the same with our bodies.  We move around in them, run if we can, take them to different countries if we are able to afford it, nod with our heads and gesture with our hands to others, speak to them, and do all of the things the Owner would do, except that everything we have and all that we are - belongs to God.  Finally, reluctantly in most cases, we must turn “ourselves” back to the rightful Owner.

There undoubtedly is a rancher in the State of Montana or Texas who has many cattle.  He feeds them, protects them, provides veterinary care when needed, brands them with his mark, and generally acts as the owner of the cows on “his” land.  But he has a problem – they aren’t his!  As God reveals in Psalms, “every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). 

God says, “The wild beasts of the field are Mine” (Psalm 50:11), and He continues, “the world is Mine, and all its fullness” (Psalm 50:12).  You and everything you think you have, belongs to the Lord.  Whether you believe in Him or not, whether you trust in Him or you don’t, you are His!  The body you think is yours is really His asset.  You are like a tenant that is using His property on a long-term basis, with the understanding that, at some point, the property will revert to the Rightful Owner.  But His promise is that you will soon be with Him in the joy of the Lord, if you trust in His Son.

In Psalm 50:10, God, through the human author, Asaph, is speaking to the people Israel.  They had offered thousands, millions of animal sacrifices on the altar in God’s temple, and in doing so, obeyed the letter of His commands to them.  Their actions were right, but for many of them, their hearts were not.  They acted out of duty, not love.  The same is true for many today.  Religion without love is empty.  It’s like a thief who steals the heart.

Psalm 50 concludes with this: “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright, I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).  He is showing us the way.  To praise Him is to love Him.  The one “who orders his conduct aright” is doing works that please God.  A key definition of “works” in Scripture is found in John 6:29, where Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He sent”.  Praise God by loving Him, and do works that please Him through trusting in His Son.

There's a bonus for you and me - If we take the time right now to acknowledge Him as the Rightful Owner of who we are and what we have, we get to keep our bodies - forever!  And there's more.  Those who accept Him as the Owner will find that their bodies are to be completely refurbished, made better than new, able to do things we never expected or even thought.  We will know His joy, faith like we didn’t expect, and best of all, we get to be with Him.

C. H. Spurgeon wrote, "We have all heard of swords which were useless in war; and even of shoes which were made to sell, but were never meant to walk in.  God's shoes are of iron and brass, and you can walk to Heaven in them without their ever wearing out; and His life-belts, you may swim a thousand Atlantics upon them, and there will be no fear of your sinking."  You can TRUST in the promises of God, and all of His promises are summed up in Jesus Christ, of Whom it is written: "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us" (2 Corinthians 1:20)  He has a GOOD "sword" (of the Spirit) for you, along with excellent "shoes" to walk through this life, and "life belts" sufficient for the vast “oceans” you may encounter in this life.

You may not like something about your rental vehicle (your body).  Does God KNOW of your concern?  Yes, He does.  Does He CARE?  Yes, He certainly does care.  Is He going to do something ABOUT your problem?  Yes, His promise is that He definitely will, though His very certain answer may not be in the time or style you may choose.  Actually, He has something MORE in mind than what you currently think is your greatest need, and His way of responding will be better than you ever could have asked or thought.  Human solutions are typically only temporary, whereas He has the perfect answer to your greatest need; one you may not even know you have.

The illness you may have at some point, may be the ONLY reason you would ever turn to God.  It may be the ONLY opportunity to speak to that person in the next hospital bed about the Lord.  The hospice nurse may ONLY hear of the Lord Jesus Christ through your bravery in trusting Him, even though your circumstances in this life may be very bad.  It's MORE than just about us and our needs.  Life is all about His love and trusting in Him, no matter WHAT the future may bring.

"The promises of God in Him (in Jesus) are (indeed) Yes, and in Him Amen" for you and me (2 Corinthians 1:20).  And all that has happened and is happening, is carefully designed to bring "glory" to God, through ordinary people like you and me.

Just like those “cattle” on the “thousand hills,” you and all you have – belongs to Him.  We are not that different from a rental car, because Someone Else is our rightful owner.  As stated, everything you are and everything you have, is His.  Even your limitations are carefully designed to reveal your need and bring you closer to Him.  But His promises are just as sure as His love.  He will meet your need, for He loves you and me.  You are His – will you TRUST in Him now?

Father, we’re beginning to understand that Your perspective is much better than ours.  Our need is more than we thought, but Your love is greater still.  Thank You for sending us the Son of God who died that we might live.  We no longer want to resist Your love, and we receive Your Gift, Your Son, right now.  In Jesus Name.  Thank You.  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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