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Sermon – 6/15/03 –
The Transplant - Psalm 4:8

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Safety

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8)

As is true with many people, we get a lot of humorous emails.  Here's one Don Haynes sent, entitled “Interesting Statistics about Safety” --

  • Avoid riding in automobiles because they are responsible for 20 percent of all fatal accidents.  Do not stay home because 17 percent of all accidents occur in the home.  Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks because 14 percent of all accidents occur to pedestrians.  Avoid traveling by air, rail, or water, because 16 percent of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.

  • You will be pleased to learn that only .001 percent of all accidents occur in worship services at church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders. Therefore, logic tells us that the safest place for you to be at any given point in time is at church. Bible study is safe, too. The percentage of deaths during Bible study is even less.

  • For safety's sake, attend church and read your Bible!

I especially like the part in today’s Scripture: “You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  HE is the One who has given us the Bible, the Word of God.  We find SAFETY in His Word and also safety when and where He leads us, because His Spirit makes it so; even though, outwardly, our circumstances may still be difficult.

What is safety and why do we want it?  It could be argued that we are never “safe” on this planet.  In California, a short time ago, broadcasts were suddenly filled with news of an airplane that plummeted straight down into a three-story apartment building.  Can you imagine the occupants of that building?  Some of them may have had the “right” investments, friends, connections; the best doctors, and so on, but suddenly everything changed – they weren’t safe anymore.  True SAFETY is only in the Lord!

Christianity.com tells of a “Daily Walk” publication of some years ago, about “a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket was pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relive his fear he asked, ‘How often do you change the rope?’ The monk in charge replied, ‘Whenever it breaks!’

So often, life is like that basket and rope.  We’re launched into something, there’s no turning back, and then we notice that the safety devices designed for us are like that rope – insufficient.  The roof of that building in California was probably capable of keeping out the rain and many burglars, but an airplane went right through it!  You need real SAFETY, not just something of this world.

Whether you know it or not, you’ve been looking for the Lord.  Finding Him can mean you’ll be safe FROM difficult circumstances, but more often it is a safety WITHIN trouble.  Problems in life hit everybody and all eventually die, but it’s what comes next that’s important and the right preparation can change everything.  You need to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  And faith in Him can come through the very troubles we try to avoid.

Trouble and disappointments – we surely don’t like them.  However, George Mueller, a great man of the faith of a century ago, said, "The ONLY way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials; I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings."  Our "testings," sadly enough, can come from the very people we look to for support.  People and possessions aren’t enough – we need the Lord.

A. B. Simpson said, “if you are afraid, just look up and say, 'What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee' (Psalm 56:3) and you will yet thank God for the school of sorrow which was to you the school of faith.”  Our “school of sorrow” can be found where you would not expect it – in our families, from our friends, even within the family of God.  The church is a people designed to help one another find HIM, who is both the “end” of all things and the beginning of LIFE.  His people are meant to help us learn to trust in Him!

The tendency of humanity is to look to other people for safety, but that’s not enough for us.  As in the email received ("Interesting Statistics about Safety"), it's good that we attend church.  It's a fine thing that we listen to the pastor's sermon, join in the singing if we can, pray together with everything we've got, and generally, as much as possible, be a part of the family of God.

But don't TRUST in others, whether in church or out, for people will let you down.  We don't mean to, but we’re human just like you are; and are likely to fail you, just when you need us most.  The church is a “hospital” for sinners - you find sick people in hospitals and you’ll find sinners in church, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  We need a Cure for our sin and His Name is Jesus Christ.  We are not the cure, He is, and the wonder is that He takes sinners like us, and lets us share Him with one another.

Have you thought about our Cure? --- Hundreds of years before He (The Cure) was born, it was said of Him, “Surely He has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).  David wrote BEFORE Isaiah, but because of the cross which was then long in the future, David was able to know peace, saying, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).  The Bible brings us to Jesus Christ, who gives us His Spirit, enabling us to understand the Bible and comfort one another.

The cross of Jesus Christ reaches to the very beginning and end of mankind.  It reaches to you and me.  Go to church.  Read your Bible.  And TRUST – in Him!


Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

www.FridayStudy.org
www.FirstChurchontheNet.org
www.BlessedHands.org
E-mail: Ron@FridayStudy.org
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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