Have you ever had difficulty trusting someone or something? If so, you’re not alone. In today’s Gospel reading, Thomas did not trust the disciples when they told him that they had seen the risen Saviour. Thomas refused to believe them until he saw Jesus himself.

Psalm 16 is a psalm of trust. King David was the writer, and he trusted God. He tells us that we can trust God as well. God has asked us to trust him in the midst of the trials of life. We can trust God because He is present with us in every moment of life. We can be confident in a God who counsels and makes us secure and promises eternal pleasures. In contrast, those who go after the pleasures of the world reap nothing but sorrow. Nothing can shake us loose from the grip of God’s grace if we remain close to Jesus and our hope remains focused on His return. Only Jesus can provide the cure for the loneliness many of us experience in life today.

Psalm 16 is also an Easter psalm. It is full of hope. God will preserve us because of His goodness. God is our inheritance. He is always before us. God gives us hope. He is the God of life. Psalm 16 embraces the true meaning of life: God and people. When we love God and love people, we fulfill the two Great Commandments.

Verses 1 and 2 include three different names for God: powerful creator, covenant-giver and the Lord and Master of Life. David saw in all of these names the personal presence of God in his life.

David saw the idols of the Moabites and the Philistines, and he heard of his own people’s history of idolatry. The principles of God’s holiness kept him from giving in to the same temptations. God’s presence is seen in the moral instructions we receive. It is His assurance of stability. David gives us three benefits of God’s presence:

  1. Our hearts will be glad with the joy of His presence.
  2. Our tongues will speak kind and wise words.
  3. Our bodies will rest secure because God will carry our burdens and reduce our stress.

David challenges us to live differently, to live a life in which God is the only god for us, for all. How would our daily lives change if we looked to God as the only god that we have? How would our lives be oriented if we believed that God is the only source of any good we have?

It might seem strange to us, but God tells us to bless our competitors and our enemies. We can do this because our security is based on doing what God calls us to do. It is not based on pitting ourselves against other people. When we give to others, we often receive something for ourselves. When we bless others, we are often blessed ourselves.
Blessing our enemies is part of God’s plan for our lives. He understands the plan even if we can’t understand it. If we seek His will, He will make His plan known to us in His own time and in His own way.

The word “lot” means circumstances, or the place where God has put a person. People do well to recognize, as David did, the daily provisions of God. God often gives his counsel when we are quiet enough to listen to Him-for example, while in bed or getting ready for sleep. We must be ready to listen at all times because He may be ready to speak at any time.

When we accept Christ, we will experience joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God within us. Joy will automatically be evident on our faces. God gives us the gift of joy so that we may experience fullness in Him. Living within God’s boundaries provides a joy and fulfillment we can’t find anywhere else.

Joy is one of the greatest things our world needs today. Joy brings things like enthusiasm for life, determination to never give up, and a strong desire to encourage others. It will give us the strength to face life’s challenges. The greatest joy we have is the knowledge that Christ conquered death through His resurrection. That knowledge is part of the great joy of Easter. We don’t have to be afraid of death any more.

Jesus came as God’s heir to establish our eternal inheritance. This is part of our resurrection hope. God was always at Jesus’ right hand. Jesus was kept secure through death and into eternal life by His resurrection. Jesus took the pains of life into the presence of God. He fulfilled the promise of victory over the grave. Chris was preserved by God, given His inheritance, not moved or shaken, secured from death and ushered into God’s presence where there is eternal life.

All of us have times in our lives when we need something or someone to help us. Sometimes these things become crutches to us, but at other times they give us the confidence and support we desperately need. God is the only support we truly need, and we can rest assured that He will always be close by.

Nothing is good until it is connected or reconnected to God. When it comes to our lives, we were created and redeemed from sin so that we could be with God. He is the source of life and love. He is always with us and sees our best. We were not created or redeemed to go it alone. God is Emmanuel-God with us. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we don’t have to go it alone.

Psalm 16 is an expression of God’s care and presence We will not rot in the grave. We know a life that is stronger than death. God has shown us the way of life, and we enjoy the pleasures of living with God now and forever. When we sense God’s presence in our lives, we enjoy the pleasures of living with God now and forever, and we can face the challenges of life because we know that God is with us.

I want to close my message today with this story. It’s called “Just Checkin’ In,” and it ties in quite nicely with the theme of my message.

A minister passed through his church in the middle of the day.

Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle.

The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn’t shaved in awhile.

His shirt was kinda’ shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.

The man knelt, bowed his head, then arose and walked away.

 

In the days that followed each noon time brought this chap

And each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, and robbery was his main fear.

He decided to stop the man and ask him, “Whatcha’ doing’ here?”

The old man worked down the road. Lunch was half and hour.

Lunch time was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.

 

“I stay only moments, see, ‘cause the factory is so far away;

As I kneel here talkin’ to the Lord, this is kinda’ what I say:

‘I just came again to tell You, Lord, how happy I have been,

Since we found each other’s friendship and You took away my sin.

I don’t know much of how to pray

But I think about You every day.

So, Jesus, this is Jim just checkin’ in.’”

 

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that this was fine.

He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.

“time to go,” Jim smiled, said “Thanks.” He hurried to the door.

The minister knelt at the altar, he’d never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love, he met Jesus there. “I just came again to tell You, Lord, how happy I have been,

Since we found each other’s friendship and You took away my sin.

I don’t know much of how to pray

But I think about You every day.

So, Jesus, this is me just checkin’ in.’”

 

It was past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn’t come.

As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.

He went to the factory and asked about Jim and found out that he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried, but he’d given them a thrill.

The week that He was with them, brought changes in the ward.

His smiles, a joy contagious, changed people, his reward.

The head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so glad,

When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.

 

The minister stayed by Jim’s bed, he voiced the nurse’s concern;

No friends came to show they cared; Jim had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;

“The nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know, that everyday at noon

He’s here, a dear friend of min, you see,

He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:

‘I just came again to tell you, Jim, how happy I have been,

Since we found each other’s friendship and I took away your sin.

I always love to hear you pray

I think about you every day.

And so my dear Jim, this is Jesus checkin’ in.’”

Bibliography

 

  1. Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, New King James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013, pp. 714-715)
  2. ESV Study Bible. Part of Wordsearch 11 Bible software package.
  3. Williams, D. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol: 13: Psalms 1-72 (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1986, pp. 129-135)
  4. Stanley, C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles; 2005)
  5. Joni Eareckson Tada, “Do You Ever Miss the Lord?” Retrieved from www.joniandfriends.org
  6. Michael Youssef, Ph.D., “King Solomon’s Warning.” Retrieved from www.ltw.org
  7. Os Hillman, “Competition in the Kingdom.” Retrieved from www.marketplaceleaders.com
  8. Dawn Mast, “Lifting my Spirit.” Retrieved from Christianity.com@crosswalkmail.com
  9. Steve Arterburn, “A Renewed Sense of Purpose.” Retrieved from www.newlife.com
  10. Charles R. Swindoll, “Outrageous Joy.” Retrieved form www.insightforliving.ca
  11. Jim Burns, “Just Checking In.” Retrieved from www.homeword.com
  12. Pastor Jesse Bradley, “When God is Near.” Retrieved from Crosswalk@crosswalkmail.com
  13. Dr. David Jeremiah, “Victory is Ours!” Retrieved from www.davidjeremiah.org
  14. Pastor Ken Klaus, “It’s All Good!” Retrieved from www.lhm.org
  15. Pastor Ken Klaus, “You are the Best, Lord!” Retrieved from www.lhm.org

 

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