Better Than Them

Posted on 11/05/2017 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
lyrics by Horatio Spafford
music by Philip Bliss

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


LORD YOU'VE BEEN SO GOOD
by Benjamin R. Faust

VERSE ONE
Lord, You've been so good to me
You gave me sight when I was blind
You showed me light I could not see
You brought me truth I could not find

Lord, You've been so good to me
You paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
Lord You've been so good to me!

CHORUS
And so I praise You in the morning
and I praise You in the night
For You are my Salvation
You are my Guiding Light
So I give You my everything
I just can't give You less
When You sent Your Son to love me
You gave me Your best!

VERSE TWO
Lord, You've been so good to me
You set my feet on solid ground
You rescued my life from the grave
when no other help could be found
Lord, You've been so good to me
and I could never repay
All the love You gave so freely
Lord, You've been so good to me!

(CHORUS)

BRIDGE
Lord You've been so good to me
Lord You've been so good to me (better than I deserve)
Lord You've been so good to me
You paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
Lord You've been so good to me

Lord You've been so good to me
Lord You've been so good to me (you're good all the time)
Lord You've been so good to me
and I could never repay
All the love You gave so freely
Lord You've been so good to me

(CHORUS)

You gave me Your best!
You gave me Your best!

Lord, You've been so good to me.


ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK
by Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne!

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground is sinking sand


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


The other day, I overheard someone casually comment that Miley Cyrus is a spoiled brat.

And that's the end of today's message. Let's have the altar call.

No, but seriously... Would you agree? A few years ago, I might have.

Don't worry, today's message isn't about Miley. Instead, today's message is about how you are better than other people.

At least, that's how we tend to feel. We might THINK we know that ultimately, we're no better than anyone else, and we all fall far short of the Glory of God.

But our feelings, our words, and our reactions belie our imagined humility. And if we look under the hood, we just might discover that, when we point out the flaws in others, it builds up, by implication, our own feeling of importance and "rightness."

First of all, we would not judge someone else if we did not imagine ourselves qualified to do so. And we would not point out someone else's badness if we did not feel as though we were better than they.

I used to be a very critical person. I was quick to judge and to point out how certain groups or individuals are wrong, or unspiritual, or intellectually dishonest.

All while ignoring or being unaware of the fact that I was wrong about SO many things. Wrong, mistaken, prideful, unspiritual or possessing fake spirituality, uninformed, judgmental, lacking true understanding, and sorely deficient in the knowledge of the Holy One -- the true Nature of God.

"Trump is an idiot." That's one of which I've heard quite a few variations. But he's dished out a fair share of his own.

He said Bush didn't have the IQ to be president.

About Bill Cosby, he said, "I've known him, and I've never liked him. I think he is a highly overrated guy, both in talent and in many other ways."

Or how about this quote:

"Jonah Goldberg of the once great National Review is truly dumb as a rock. Why does Bret Baier put this dummy on his show?"

He said this about John McCain:

"He's not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."

This followed his tweet in which he said, "Senator John McCain should be defeated in the primaries. Graduated last in his class at Annapolis -- dummy!"

Here's another Trump quote:

"Governor Perry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate."

When someone in the public eye insults others, people tend to have one of two reactions:

They either find the insult funny and feel their ego empowered by it, or they take offense and seek to dish out insults against the insulter in return, feeling as though he or she deserves it.

And this is one of the many symptoms of disease displayed by the fallen human mind. Insults spring forth out of the cesspool of prideful ego, manifesting as waves of judgmentalism, non-productive criticism, and a feeling of moral, spiritual, or intellectual superiority.

Insults are a way to exert control and to feel powerful. And when we identify with our fallen human mind, we will undoubtedly find ourselves in a mental and emotional atmosphere that belittles other individuals or groups.


So how about our opening example? IS Miley Cyrus a spoiled brat? Well, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter one single bit.

What if she's spoiled? What if she's a brat? Am I hiring or not hiring her for a job? Or am I unknowingly boosting my ego by elevating myself above someone else?

One thing I DO know: Miley, Trump, Clinton, Goldberg, Cosby, the atheists, the carnists, and everyone else on earth is not me.

Just like I am not them.

And just as I COULD entertain the insults my mind might generate against them in its prideful effort to exalt itself, they could do the same.

But the self you might think you are, and the self they might think they are, is here for a moment, and will quickly vanish away.

And do you suppose it is beneficial to identify with the sociopathic, egotistical, narcissistic, ignorant nature of the fallen human mind? The flesh?

If we imagine ourselves to be the devil's enemy, then why do we side with his nature that prevails when we place our trust, our belief, and our sense of identity in our human mind?

If you see thoughts come and go, and do not attach to them by labeling and judging them, or believing them, or identify with them, but instead, you inhabit the Holy Temple of God by resting in the awareness of the tangible Life of God in that temple, your body...

...then something changes. You begin to no longer get lost in the drama. You begin to recognize the mind's antics, its childish behaviors (which you may have previously thought were so grown up), it's self-inflating rhetoric.

And instead of doing what that mind does by labeling it as good or bad, and either defending or attacking it, you realize that it is as it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

And by becoming the Peaceful Warrior who does not label enemies against which to fight, you win the battle by not fighting at all.

After all, the battle about which we're talking today is self-created. If you weren't at war, there would BE no war.

So stop believing the mind's self-evaluation. It's just doing what the fallen human mind does. You have one, and that's okay. That's where God has you right now. And God has you in the perfect place today.

Instead, dwell with Him in His Glorious Presence, and watch, with perfect peace, the story unfold, the characters, including your own, come and go, the chapters begin and come to an end.

All those things change. They are all temporary. They are all diverse, unique, and skillfully written. But You, the Still Presence You Are, and God, the Life that is constantly creating that Presence, remain forever unchanged.

And that is true regardless of whether we're referring to your person, or to one of the persons your mind's imaginary self might call a spoiled brat.

Underneath those temporary characters is the Breath of God. And as we trust in and dwell in His Life, the battle is won without beginning at all.


In closing, let's consider this: When we participate in the mind's insults against or judgmental feelings about another, we are ultimately calling that person or group a fool or an idiot. And what did Jesus say about calling others idiots or fools?

In Matthew 5:22 (NASB), He says this:

22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."

Another translation puts it like this:

22 "But I say to you, whoever holds animosity toward another is subject to judgment, whoever calls someone worthless is considered guilty before the council, and whoever calls someone stupid or a fool is liable to the fire of hell." (TLS*)

That attitude in and of itself is sparked by hell fire, and is the nature of the devil, drawing those who participate with it into an atmosphere which is anything but holy.

So let's let go of our attachments to the antics of our own minds, and abide instead in the Presence of the Prince of Peace, as we truly Love that "other" with the same Divine Love in which we dwell.