On Whom Do You Depend?

Posted on 02/18/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT:

Good morning and welcome!

Here we are again, after yet another week. Some of you may have had unusual things happen in your life this past week, but for most of us, this past week was pretty much just like any other week.

But I will tell you today that this won't always be so. We take so much for granted, but we're not promised our next breath.

Who can say with certainty that we'll be able to meet together next week, either here or in our local churches?

Who can say we will even continue to have the liberty to praise God at all?

Today we have an incredible opportunity to open our hearts, open our mouths, raise our hands, dance for joy, and freely express the praise and worship God desires and deserves from us. And as we exalt him publicly in this way, the Holy Spirit will work in those around us to draw them to Jesus.

So today, let's take our attention off our neighbor, off our situations, off our judgements and differences, and put our focus completely on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, the one who alone can forgive our sins, and the only one who deserves our praise.

Let's all stand to our feet and start today's service with prayer.

Lord God, thank you for being here today with us, and for drawing each one of us into your presence.

I thank you for each one here today; for your love for them, and for the purposes and plans you have for them. I ask that you prepare each heart to enter into your presence, so they can experience the radiant joy and unbroken peace that only your presence can bring.

We take a moment to pray together for the prayer requests submitted for public prayer this past week.

We pray for Sarah's hurts from the past, that you would bring healing, and that you would guide her by your Holy Spirit.

We pray for Tyler and his wife, that you would work a miracle in their relationship and bring them first of all closer to you, and then back together.

We pray that your will be done in Rupa's employment. You promised to meet all our needs, and to give us the desires of our heart as we wait patiently upon you.

And we pray for Jill. You said if we need wisdom, to simply ask for it. She is seeking your direction to make the right choices in her life, and we ask that you guide her by your Holy Spirit, making her paths plain and straight, as she leans fully upon you rather than the wisdom of man.

Come and lead us into your presence, Holy Spirit, and work in us the work you've brought us here to perform.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's enter into worship.


TIS SO SWEET

'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word,
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

How I love to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood.
Just in simple faith to plunge me
'Neath the healing cleansing flood!

Yes, I've learned to trust in Jesus,
And from sin and self to cease,
Now from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest and joy and peace.

I'm so glad I learned to trust Him,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend,
And I know that He is with me,
He'll be with me to the end.


THIS IS MY DESIRE

This is my desire: to honor You.
Lord with all my heart I worship You.

All I have within me, I give You praise.
All that I adore is in You.

Lord I give You my heart,
I give You my soul, I live for You alone.
Every breath that I take,
Every moment I'm awake,
Lord have Your way in me.


I JUST WANT TO BE WHERE YOU ARE

I just want to be
Where You are
Dwelling daily in
Your presence
I don't want to worship
From afar
Draw me near
To where You are

I just want to be
Where You are
In Your dwelling place
Forever
Take me to the place
Where you are
'Cause I just want
To be with You

I want to be where
You are
Dwelling
In Your presence
Feasting at Your table
Surrounded by Your glory
In Your presence
That's where I
Always want to be
I just want to be
I just want to be
With You

I just want to be
Where You are
To enter boldly
In Your presence
I don't want to worship
From afar
Draw me near to
Where You are


Thank you Lord that you are not just some imagination, or some religion we have made up; but we can rely upon you in our time of need, and we can trust even our eternal souls to you, knowing that you alone can promise us that we will overcome.

Thank you Jesus.

Amen.

You may be seated.


Today's message is titled, "On Whom Do You Depend," and today we'll read from Psalm 146, starting with the third verse, which says...

 3 Do not put your trust in princes,
       in mortal men, who cannot save.

 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
       on that very day their plans come to nothing.

 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
       whose hope is in the LORD his God,

 6 the Maker of heaven and earth,
       the sea, and everything in themó
       the LORD, who remains faithful forever.

 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
       and gives food to the hungry.
       The LORD sets prisoners free,

 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
       the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
       the LORD loves the righteous.

 9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
       and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
       but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

 10 The LORD reigns forever,
       your God, O Zion, for all generations.
       Praise the LORD.


Doesn't this put things in perspective? First the writer points out that even great rulers and people we think are our source of help, they all die. And when they die, they turn into earth, and they no longer plan great things.

But the one who puts his hope in God, he is blessed. Why?

Because He is the one who created the heavens and the earth, and he created the seas and everything in them, by simply commanding them to come into existence.

And he remains faithful forever!

God upholds the cause of those who are oppressed. He is the one who gives food to the hungry. And only he can set those held captive by the chains of this world totally free.

God heals the blinded eyes and blinded hearts. He gives joy and hope to those who are weighed down by sorrows, and when we humble ourselves before him, he lifts us up in the splendor of righteousness.

God watches over those who in a strange and unfamiliar place, he provides for and sustains those who are without a father or a husband, and those who are the victims of a broken home, he is their father and their strong tower, secure and solid, for he will never leave them nor forsake them, but will be with them until the very end.

And the ways of the wicked? They just become frustrated by God, by his presence, and by his power which they refuse to even acknowledge.

But the Lord reigns forever; the God of Zion reigns for all generations.


In Job chapter 31, starting with verse 24, Job says this:

 24 "If I have put my trust in gold
       or said to pure gold, 'You are my security,'

 25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,
       the fortune my hands had gained,

 26 if I have regarded the sun in its radiance
       or the moon moving in splendor,

 27 so that my heart was secretly enticed
       and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,

 28 then these also would be sins to be judged,
       for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.


Isn't it so easy to think that if we have money, we'll be okay, but if we don't have money in the bank, we have no security? And yet, when we buy into this lie of the world, we are taking the trust that should be in God, and placing it in things that he has made that will all pass away, and in men who will wither and fade like the grass -- who are here today, and tomorrow they simply fade away.

Only God is solid and sure. Only he will be around when everything and everyone else comes and goes. Only he has been here when "here" did not even exist, and only he is completely good, does not change, and can be completely trusted in all things at all times.

Why would we take our dependence off of him and place our trust in things which had a beginning and will have an end; things that are just here for a moment in time; things that did not create us, do not know us intimately, and cannot move heaven and earth on our behalf?

As Romans 8:32 says, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"

We can rest our cares, our worries, our doubts, our fears; we can cast all our cares upon him, for he cares for us.

So I ask you this question today: On whom do you depend?

Do you depend on your job? Do you depend on your own ability to earn a living or take care of your household? Do you depend on a system or society? Do you depend on the things that have been manufactured by man?

Imagine with me for a moment how our lives would change if, for example, we suddenly were without electricity. What would happen?

Many of us would be without heat. We would be without telephones, so we couldn't call anyone for help. We would be without radios or televisions, so we couldn't turn them on to find out what's going on, and there wouldn't be any operational stations broadcasting that information.

We wouldn't have the Internet, so all our contacts and activities through the net would be gone.

Most of us wouldn't have lights. The food in our refridgerators would begin to rot. Many of us would no longer have a job, and acquiring fuel for transportation to a job would be very difficult.

Life as we know it would come to an end. Suicide rates would probably skyrocket. Crime would be at an all-time high. The foundation of society would be shaken, and for a time, everything would come to a grinding halt.

And yet through all the confusion and madness, through all the uncertainty and fear, through all the helplessness and despair, God remains unchanged. He is still holy, righteous and just. He is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is still the God who watches over us, who cares for us, who offers reconciliation to him through his only begotten Son, Jesus, by the blood he shed on the cross for you and for me.

Although everything will change on earth, God will still be on the throne, unshaken, unmoved, and full of grace, mercy, and compassion for us, forgiving all our sins if we'll only confess them to him and turn away from them to follow Jesus.

On whom do you depend?

If you're anything like me, you've trusted in many other things, and probably trust in things other than God even today, perhaps without even realizing it.

If you've been putting trust in other people and things, the call of God to you today is to realize all these other things are temporary, and to put your trust in the One who will never falter or fail.

The ministry team can come to the front now.

We've all trusted in our own selves, and I dare say every one of us still trusts in ourselves to some extent. Peter trusted in himself to die with Jesus rather than deny him. And just a few hours later, he denied three times he even knew who Jesus was.

I used to say that "I'm not easily deceived, but I'm very convincing, and I'm with myself all the time." Scripture tells us the heart of man is deceitful and wicked. If we rely upon our own selves to guide us and take care of our needs, we will lead ourselves away from the only one whose heart has no deceit or even a shadow of turning, and we will fall.

Our only firm foundation we can trust without reservation in and through everything life can throw our way, is Jesus and him alone.

If you've never trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, today is the day to stop relying in people and things that will only let you down. Jesus said, "I will never leave you or forsake you; I will be with you until the very end of time."

If you want to trust Jesus to save you, forgive you, and lead you in the path you should go, come to the front now and let one of these ministers lead you to Jesus. Don't wait another moment, come to this altar right now, and let Jesus set you free.


If you're saved, but you realize today that some of your trust has been in people, or in money, or in things, or in technology, but you want all your trust to be in God, then come join these others at the front now, and let's openly commit oursleves to trusting in God more, and in ourselves, others, and other things less.


Lord God, forgive us for trusting in ourselves, for trusting in other people, and for trusting in other things. We realize that all these things are temporary and will pass away, but only you are solid and sure and will last forever.

Honor our desire to trust completely on you, and lean fully upon you. Change our hearts by your Holy Spirit, as we take this time to wait upon you, seeking your presence in our lives, and submitting ourselves to your hand.

In a few minutes, we'll meet next door for fellowship, and as your time of ministry here finishes you can all make your way to the room to your left.

And as we continue with a time of ministry here at the altar, let's close with this verse of Scripture from Romans chapter nine and verse thirty-three which says, "As it is written: 'See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and  a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'"