16/1/22

 

 Fear of the Lord  

 

Reading Proverb 1:7; 1John 4:1-21

 

Intro

 

The Lord has spoken clearly to many over the last two years during the Covid pandemics that’s been terrorizing our World. If you could sum up the key emotion that has prevailed during this time you would have to agree that FEAR has been the dominate emotion:

 

Fear of self catching covid, fear of family & friends catching covid,

I believe a better fear, is needed for our times. So today I will attempt to bring to you some thoughts on this crucial subject. The Bible is full of verses on “the fear of the Lord’ Many of these potent quotations on fear are found throughout the Bible & especially in the Book of Proverbs so let’s glean some precious truths today on this vast topic.

By way of clarification, there are 2 major types of fear in the Bible, fear-dread and fear-revere. repeat

  • This first fear; fear-dread , includes dread or terror, it’s a bad kind of fear, in Hebrew, (pa-KHAD). It is a fear that brings torment, but it’s also a fear that can be cast out by the perfect love of God (1 Jn. 4:18), it is a destructive type of fear.

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The second type of fear, fear-revere is a good kind of fear, it's from the  Hebrew word (yir’ah (yeer-AH), (a sound similar to a happy cowboy saying (yeer ha) it’s a wholesome fear. This fear can also be translated as reverence, respect, honor, devotion, or awe. (Yir’ah) is only ever found in the Bible in reference to God and parents (Lev. 19:3). This clarifies the idea of “honoring” one’s mother and father (Ex. 20:12, Deut. 5:16, Matt. 15:4), the first commandment with promise (Eph. 6:2).

 

Those who fear the Lord are called “happy” or “blessed,” in Hebrew (ahsh-RAY) (Prov. 28:14). This verse is translated in an interesting way in the New Living Translation: “Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.” This aspect of the fear of the Lord—being afraid to do evil—would help explain why the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Ps. 111:10). The fear of the Lord has the power to put the brakes on our evil inclination.

 

  1.   AWE and the Fear of the Lord

 

The fear of the Lord centres on the awesomeness of God. We use the word awesome casually today, but there is only One who is truly AWESOME: God! Moses and the children of Israel sang about our Awesome God after He miraculously delivered them from Pharaoh’s army: “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful, awesome (no-RAH) in praises, doing wonders?”

 

When we fear the Lord of the Universe properly, we stand in AWE of Him. Diane and I are more and more in awe of God as the years have passed.  We’ve marvelled at His creativity, His sunrises and sunsets, the variety and beauty of His plants and animals, the development of our children & grandchildren, How awesome that the Creator of All the universe & multi verse would still be aware and involved in our individual lives—with such love! That’s AWSOME

 

ILL.  I read an article recently on the “Psychology of "Awe.” A study was done to see, what the sense of awe does to the brain. It was conducted by Cirque du Soleil with help from a neuroscience research group. Scientists recorded and studied neural responses to the circus show’s most captivating moments. The results were dramatic: “Experiencing awe can increase tolerance to risk, boost creativity, and combat stress by putting the brain in a state of bliss. It can even reshape our feelings about the future—a finding the study authors hope will lead to using awe to help people heal psychologically” Imagine the healing potential of experiencing the AWE of the ALMIGHTY!

 

I know people who are trapped by a fear, psychologist call Agoraphobia; Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that often develops after one or more panic attacks.

Symptoms include fear and avoidance of places and situations that might cause feelings of panic, entrapment, helplessness or embarrassment.

Treatments include talk therapy and medication. Some Christian psychologist & counselors use God directed AWE therapy.

 With “AWE of the Lord” comes deep reverence and respect. In many synagogues throughout the world, the same words are displayed over the ark containing the Torah scrolls: “Know Before Whom You Stand”

 

These words call to mind Moses and the Burning Bush and remind congregants that they stand before a HOLY GOD.

We too need to take off our shoes, and take to heart the words found in Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”

Here is the balance. He is a consuming fire, but the fire that longs to consume us is the fire of His love!

When you come to Church you engage in the AWE of His Presence. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20

 

 

  1. PROMISES & the Fear of the Lord

 

There are dozens of promises in the Bible about the fear of the Lord for those who walk in it. Just a few: “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Prov. 14:26-27). “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil” (Prov. 19:23 (Prov. 22:4). “(Ps. 25:12-14).

Perhaps the most famous verses concerning the fear of the LORD are found in Psalm 34. King David authored this psalm at a peculiar time in his life, when he pretended madness before Abimelech. In great humility of spirit he wrote, “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them…Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him…Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord… (Ps. 34:7, 9, 11, 17).

It has been rightly said that while the fear of man or of Satan brings a snare or torment, the fear of God brings blessing.

 

           2. EVIL & the Fear of the Lord

 

Evil is all around us. How do we escape it? What do we do about it? What does it have to do with the fear of the Lord? We must realize, first of all, that the ungodly, the “wicked” as the Bible says, have no fear of the Lord. “There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates” (Ps. 36:1-2). Expect to see this more & more as time rolls on as these End times grow nearer.

 

Believers in Jesus Christ, on the other hand, are admonished concerning evil. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones” (Prov. 3:7-8). “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Prov. 8:13). We hate what God hates—evil—but we do not hate the ones who do evil. Leave them for God to handle.

God sees all and knows all, even our innermost thoughts (Ps. 139:4). “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3). This reality should inspire each of us to walk in the fear of the Lord, choosing good over evil. May we take heed to the exhortation found in 2 Corinthians 7:1: “…let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God

No compromise with evil. It is fruitless and unwise. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Prov. 9:10). “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

 

Unfortunately, in Australia, we have not departed from evil, but have departed from the fear of the Lord. I recently discovered a powerful provoking prayer given by Pastor Joe Wright at the opening of the 1999 session of the Kansas Senate. I’ll read it in its entirety. it will stir many today as it did then..

 

ILL. Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe on those who call evil good,’ but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that:

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn children and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbour’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

This was in 1999. Could it still be spoken at the opening session of any State Senate in the world today? I think not

 

    

            3. LOVE and the Fear of the Lord

 

​Until recently, I was unaware that the fear of the Lord and the love of God are considered twin concepts in traditional Judaism.

Jewish tradition says that ahavah (love) and yir’ah (fear) are the two wings on which the Torah soars through the heavens. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, and bodies, yet at the same time to fear (revere) Him, submitting to His sovereignty. The basis for the twin concept of love and fear is found in Deuteronomy 10:12, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…”

 

We are to obey and serve our God out of reverence and love “The fear of God" is caring more about what the Lord thinks than anything else, and the source of this is a true and deep love for Him. One who fears God has a sense of the overwhelming greatness of the Lord and His constant presence.”

How does God feel about those who fear Him? “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him…As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him” (Ps.103:11, 13). “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in his mercy” (Ps. 147:11).

           

               4 .CHOOSING and the Fear of the Lord

 

The Scriptures indicate that we can choose the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:29). It is His treasure: “Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure” (Is. 33:6). Jesus, chose the fear of the Lord. This was prophesied by Isaiah even before the Messiah came to earth. Isaiah said of the Rod from the stem of Jesse, “His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth…” (Isa. 11:3-4). If it was paramount for the Son of God to fear (revere) his father, how so much more for we mere mortals?

 

          Conclusion

 

Jesus always did those things that pleased the Father (Jn. 8:29). May we do likewise, seeking to please our Heavenly Father by doing things God’s way, living by the principles found in His Word, and obeying Him at all times, even though it means going contrary to our natural inclinations.

 “To fear the Lord" is the ultimate expression of our faith, knowing that we stand in the presence of a holy God. It does mean to dread his total disapproval of our sin natures, but the emphasis is on a positive, reverential relationship with a forgiving God, not on being terrified by Him. If having an awe of the Lord causes us to live with integrity and obedience to him, it will ultimately transform us.” For all have sinned & fallen short of the glory & AWESOME nature of God. But God commends his love for us, so at just the right time Christ died for us".

 

Lets Pray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trouble with Troubles             9/1/22

James 1:1-4

 

What circumstances makes you lose your patience the quickest.?

 

 

 

1. Abrasive people
2. Quirky family members.
3. Dealing with government depts..
4. Slow people
5. Noisy crowds
6. A slow checkout line at Coles or Woolworths
7. Telephone scammers

8. When surrounded by a mountain of house work
9. When you are sick and people don’t care
10.Car trouble leaving you stuck on the expressway

11.Waiting for a Covid test result.

 

One thing is certain and Jesus said it: “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33)
Once we understand that problems do have purpose, we can better handle the trouble that comes our way.

James 1:1-4
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(NIV)


God’s number 1 purpose in our lives is to make us like Jesus. If God is going to make me like Jesus, He is going to allow me to go through the clothes ringer that Jesus went through. There were times when Jesus was lonely, fatigued, tempted, frustrated, and discouraged.

All Christians must walk the walk that Jesus walked.

 

It may come as a shock to some Christians, but walking the Christian path can be hard & should be hard. WHAT?   Thanks not fair, you may say in our entitled Western world view. The truth is Christianity thrives in tough times & tough places. Christianity is flourishing in the third world, but declining in the western World.

 

God is training us to be tough, resilient believers fit for the battle ahead.

 

 

 

1 Two of the ways God makes me like Jesus:

1) Through the word of God
John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
(NIV)

2) Through the way life happens
James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds...”

Peter said, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you” (I Peter 4:12).

TP. If we are to survive the rigors of the trials we must face and overcome them and become like Jesus, then there are some survival techniques we must recognize:
 

2. Christian Survivors know the owner of the island!

James 1:1
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.”
(NIV)


God owns the Island. No matter how dense the jungle is, or how big and frightening the King Kong’s are, the Lord is King of the jungle! There is nothing alive that God can’t handle. No matter what happens in this life to me, losing is not an option. God desires my survival!

Romans 8:35-37
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
(NIV)

 

3.  Christians Survivors know the value of difficult times.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends,
when tests and challenges come at you from all sides!”
James 1:2 (The Message)


Troubling Facts about Troubles:

1) Troubles are not a class elective in life. Troubles are the required course!
2) Troubles are unpredictable. We don’t plan a flat tire or a death in the family.
3) Troubles come in various shapes and sizes.
Now some good news....
4) Problems are not permanent!

 

ILL. Three senior citizens were golfing together, and two of them griped endlessly. "The fairways are too long," said one. "The hills are too high," said the other. "The bunkers are too deep," said the first again. Finally the third man said, "At least we’re on the right side of the grass."


4. Troubles purify my faith!

James 1:3-4
“... you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”(NIV)


I love the way The Message puts it:

“You know that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way!”
James 1:3, 4 (The Message)


ILL. Christians are like tea bags:
You don’t know what is in them until you put them in hot water!

Our faith is developed when things do not go as planned.
Our faith is developed when we don’t feel like doing right, but we do it anyway!


ILL.  A woman driver was having difficulties getting her automobile started after it had stalled in traffic. The less than gentleman (?) in the car behind her insisted in expressing his impatience with her by blowing his horn every few seconds. Finally, the lady, worn out by his thoughtlessness, stepped out of her automobile, walked back to the honker’s car and said, "I’m having some difficulty in getting my car started. If you’ll go and see if you can start it, I’ll honk your horn for you!"

5.  Troubles produce perserverance.

“...the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
James 1:3


That means the problems you go through produce “staying power”! God teaches us patience in traffic jams, Bi-lo lines, and waiting rooms!

ILL. Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again: "Unless the divine power has raised you up... I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might." 

Daily Bread, June 16, 1989.

 

6. Troubles will make me mature.

“...Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature...”
James 1:4


Problems show us how grown up we are because they reveal our values. Our values determine how we evaluate the circumstances we find ourselves in. Such as:
If we value comfort more than character, trials will upset us.
If we value the material and the physical more than the spiritual,
we won’t be able to count it all joy!
If we value only the present and forget about the future,
the trials will make us BITTER not BETTER!


7.  Troubles make me like Jesus.

 

ILL. Seventeen years ago we had a very troubling time, where one bad & sad event seemed to followed one another.

 

*My wife failed a pap smear test

 

*Our daughter Rebecca nearly died when she hemorrhaged & miscarried at 7.5 months. In the hospital, with tears flowing down both our faces my wife and I nursed our lifeless granddaughter Hannah for a short precious time. It really hurt holding a lifeless baby who should have lived.

 

*My business had been through some lean work periods which placed  stresses on our finances and my Theological studies.

 

*My mother died from lung cancer around that time. On the morning of the funeral I had my wife in the emergency dept with chest pains at 3 am. I was really worried that I would miss out going to my mother’s funeral.

 

*My wife’s best friend had died three weeks before, my mothers funeral her husband & her had a very bad argument the day before.

 

*Around the same time a very good friend with whom I pastured a church for 10 years was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his bones at 60. His wife said to me that there was not much hope for him.

 

 

One thing I know which is true, that my wife said a couple of hours after her friend Lyn died. “ God does all things right and we can trust Him to do all thing perfect & well”.

 

 

James 1:4
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (NKJ)


That’s what James means when he uses words like “perfect” and “complete”. Like Jesus!

Joh 14:1  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Joh 14:2  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and I will receive you unto Myself; so that where I am, there you may be also.

 

 

SO COUNT IT ALL JOY!
THAT WE HAVE JESUS ON OUR SIDE

 

 

 

 

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A SIMPLE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

 

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14; Romans 8:28

 

ILL. Have you heard about the man who moved into a retirement community to spend the rest of his life there? It wasn’t long until he had made a number of friends among the other residents.

There was one lady he was especially attracted to, & she was attracted to him, also. So they spent a lot of time together. Finally one evening he proposed, asking her to marry him.

The next morning he woke up remembering his proposal, but he couldn’t remember her answer. So he went to her & said, "I’m really embarrassed. I proposed to you last night but I can’t remember if you said `Yes’ or `No."’

"Oh, thank goodness!" she replied. "I remembered saying `Yes’ but I couldn’t remember who asked me."

Sometimes I feel that way about New Year’s resolutions. I tell myself, "This year I’m going to turn over a new leaf. I’m going to exercise regularly & lose weight. I’m going to do all kinds of things to improve myself physically & spiritually." But then somehow after an hour I forget. Maybe you have that problem, too.

 

ILL. Men quick to dump new year resolution diets, study reveals

A quarter of men who make a new year's resolution to lose weight have already given up on their diets by January 2, a poll suggests. About 26 per cent of men abandon their diets after one day, a British survey found.


So I have a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution that we ought to be able to remember.  In 2022, as God’s people, let’s resolve to make a change for the better.

PROP. And to help us do that, let me suggest some ways in which we can make a change for the better.


I. DEVELOP A POSITIVE OUTLOOK TOWARD LIFE

A. First of all, each of us can make a change for the better by developing a positive outlook toward life.

ILL. A few years ago a lady committed suicide, leaving behind this note. "I decided that unless life was worth living I would just quit living."

How do you feel about your life? Is it worthwhile? Or, let’s change the question. What would it take for you to feel that your life is worthwhile & positive?

 
If you won the lotto, would that do it?

If you were able to afford your dream house on an island’ in the Whitsundays would that, do it?

If you got a promotion into the perfect job, would that do it?

If your kids began to make you proud, would that do it?

If you could have one day a week all to yourself with no interruptions, would that do it?

 

What would it take for you to really feel positive about your life?

Now if that’s the way you’re thinking about your life then the chances are you’ll probably be disappointed because real life for the average Bob & Bec is no fairy tale with happy ever after endings. Real life can be a spoiler if we allow ourselves to sucked in by its lucky & unlucky circumstances.

Ill. WHEN lottery winner Gillian Bayford decided to spend some of her 148 million pounds ($A275 million) windfall on a fleet of luxury Audis, she wound up taking more than the high-end cars away from the dealership.

For the mother of two has split from her husband and started a new relationship with the man who sold her the vehicles.

Car Salesman Alan Warnock has quit his job with the dealership and set up home with the multi-millionairess, telling friends he is 'very happy' with his new circumstances. Alan may be happy but what about her children how do they now feel?

 

B. The reason I have selected Philippians 3:12- 14 as our text this morning is to show us how the Apostle Paul left us an example on developing a positive attitude towards life. But before I read it to you, you need to realize that Paul is in prison, chained to a Roman guard, under horrible conditions as he wrote these words.

Yet despite that, he writes these wonderfully positive words,

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind & straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

What is he reaching for? Paul’s goal is eternal life with Jesus. That is what he is reaching for his goal is heaven.

APPL. Now here is the point. If our goal is heaven, if our goal is eternal life with Jesus Christ, then all our setbacks in life are only stepping stones to getting us closer to Jesus.

There will be disappointments in life, but every day that passes is one day closer to the time when we will be with Jesus. If that is our goal, then
Romans 8:28 is true. "All things" do "work together for good to those who love God & are called according to his purpose."

C. The world says that the way to feel good about yourself is by climbing the ladder of success, by making a lot of money by having influential friends by receiving a lot of awards by belonging to the right circles. Those are the things that make you feel good about yourself.

But the Bible teaches us that we are to feel good about ourselves because God loves us. You are such a treasured person in God’s sight that He gave His only Begotten Son for you.

That’s what makes you valuable.


II. DEVELOP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD THE CHURCH

Secondly, I think we need to have a positive attitude toward the church. I don’t say this in a self serving way at all because one thing that is right about the church is that our desire is simply to lift up Jesus, to reach out to a lost & dying world with the positive Gospel message of salvation.


ILL. John Wesley was a great English preacher of the 1700’s. He was considered a rather spiffy dresser. One Sunday morning he wore a bow tie that had long ribbons that hung downward. After the sermon was over a lady walked up to him & said, "Brother Wesley, are you open to some criticism?"

He said, "I guess so. What would you like to criticize?" She said, "The ribbons on your tie are entirely too long & inappropriate for a man of God." And she took out her scissors & cut them off.

A hush fell over the people standing there as Wesley calmly asked, "Now may I borrow the scissors for a moment?" As she handed them to him, he said, "Ma’am, are you open to some criticism?"

She answered, "Well, I suppose I am." He said, "All right then, please stick out your tongue."


Have you felt like Wesley & wished that you could cut out those critical, negative & self-serving words someone is using to attack you?>

 

In Ephesians 4:15 Paul tells us that we need to speak the truth in love. We need to make sure it is the truth, but we also need to be sure that we are speaking it in the spirit of love. So we need to develop a positive attitude towards the church. The Church is its people
 

III. DISPLAY A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHERS

A. Thirdly, we need to display a positive attitude toward others.

ILL. Zig Ziglar said that Harding of the attitudes is the most deadly disease on the face of the earth,

This is a hard world, a world that doesn’t always exercise courtesy. Sometimes it’s a dog eat dog world. People are jockeying for positions on the freeways & in their companies, they’re filled with all kinds of stress & anxiety.

Sadly, our world is also filled with some very nasty & evil people, whose main aim in life is to spread their rotten negative attitudes with force & violence on the innocence & defenseless.

But there are some……Good News stories from 2021

 

 

Cleo Smith rescued after 18 days missing

 

"My name is Cleo."

 

It was those simple words, uttered by a four-year-old in the arms of a police officer, which brought a mammoth two-and-half week search to an end in November.

Dog saves owner from house fire in Queensland

 

A dog has taken his job as man's best friend to a whole new level, saving his owner from their burning Queensland house.

Luke Arthur slept through the fire at his house in Kingston, south of Brisbane — until Kelpie Lunar woke him up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmer unable to attend aunt's funeral creates special tribute

 

Using some grain, a drone, and dozens of sheep, a NSW farmer has paid tribute to his aunt in a very special way.

Ben Jackson from Guyra, on the Northern Tablelands, was unable to travel to his aunt's funeral in Brisbane due to Covid border closures.

So instead, he created an enormous heart-shaped formation of sheep and filmed the spectacle on a drone.

The video was played at his aunt's farewell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t despair.... There are still many, many beautiful & positive people in our world than negative ones

 

ILL. Fred Hollows famous statement, “every eye is an eye” (Of equal importance) I treat every operation I do as if I was operating on the prime minister or King.

You see, if we treat each other with kindness & love then wonderful things will happen for us & the kingdom of God here on earth will be more enticing for those who aren’t already in it..

So this new year let’s make sure that we display a positive attitude toward others.

 

Love is the most positive attitude that can be given to another human being or Dog’

 

Well what’s a dog got to do with this sermon?

 

Ill.  Let me tell you a personal story. Our next-door neighbour had two large dogs that barked all the time, much to my wife disgust. Night & day they’d bark & especially every time I climbed up on our outside renovation scaffold, they’d woof as German shepherds bark. Well I must admit in my frustration I would sometimes wave my hammer at them, but this only made them bark more. Thankfully the neighbour got rid of one of the dogs because all the surrounding neighbours were complaining about the noise. Well with one dog gone & one dog left the barking reduced by 80%. But still every time I climbed the scaffold the dog named Woofie barked at me. So I changed tack with some positive actions instead of my negative hammer waving. I decided to throw down from the scaffold & across the fence some left over tasty meaty bits for woofie to woof down with her large teeth & wagging tail. Now every time I get up on that scaffold, woofie wags her tail at me. A lesson I learnt personally is that a positive attitude & some left over meaty bits can change the savage beast.

 

P.S. The scaffold is still up in places on our little house after 10 years of interrupted work, but with God’s help & help from others it will get finished someday. But if the Lord comes back before then, my wife & I & many, others will be given new homes. Houses not made of Asbestos & frames not eaten by white ants, nor 30 neighbour fed magpies decorating our front door steps every day with large white bird droppings.

 

CONCL.

 

ILL.  Barbra Streisand sang the Song “People” in the (1964) Broadway musical Hit Funny Girl the lyric go “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

People need people; we need positive people that bring a positive influence into our lives.
 

Jesus Christ is the most positive influence a person can have in their life.

 

Let’s learn from his example & Let our new year’s resolution, contain some of the following.

 

"I’m going to be positive as I look at my life.

I’m going to be positive as I look at the church.

 And I’m going to be positive as I look at others."
 

I hope that. 2022 will be one of the best years you will ever have. And as you live each day of it, I hope that we will get closer & closer to the goal, to be more like Jesus.

We are a year closer to heaven than we were this time last year, & I also hope that everybody here today will not appear on the deceased list for 2022 & that Lord will give us more time on earth to live & share his positive Gospel message.

 Everything is on course. We need to trust the Lord & love Him our lives in His hands to use us to His glory.

 

Lets pray.

 

 

 

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