What do you Ask of God?

2018-10-14 – Year B – 10-16 – The Rev. Steven Edwards
Isaiah 53:4–12; Psalm 91; Hebrews 4:12–16; Mark 10:35–45

Let us Pray: Set us free, loving Father, from the bondage of our sins, and in your goodness and mercy give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Lord, we thank you for your prophetic words which foretold of the price to be paid for our sins, suffered upon our Savior, who is you yourself, Lord God, of all creation, Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, our Redeemer. Lord, at the time of your suffering on our behalf, you were without comfort, or recognition; and absent, was the glory and honor, due unto you by all men. You were called by men, forsaken of God, though you were, yourself, God; offering yourself, for us. You permitted yourself to be tormented and to suffer at the hands of men, whom you would hold blameless, unto whose lives, you would open the way of forgiveness & salvation, the redemption of men’s souls. And now, to you O Lord, we give all glory and honor due you Name, we offer praise for you, as the cry of our hearts; and plead forgive us, save us Lord Jesus, from all that is due us; and grant to us your promised love and salvation. Amen

Please open your Bibles to Isaiah 53 and follow along with me as I read, beginning in vs 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows;    yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (as though he had sinned)(as though God did not love him)(as though the Son Jesus had displeased the Father) (as though he deserved the wrath of God, justified against sin and evil) 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,   he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace …..     was on him and therefore it is said, “by his wounds we are healed” 6 We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

But, with all praise to God, vs 11 After the suffering of his soul,    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;     by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many

So, and in him, are we redeemed & restored to the hope of God’s glory; and unto eternal life in him Thank you Lord God, Almighty Savior, for you have set us free, to know you and worship you, that you dwell / are present with us. Amen

As we worshiped in Psalms today we witnessed to God’s deep, deep love and care toward us.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

We, who have welcomed him in us, who are in the Son, Jesus, are called & brought out of the way of destruction. We are called into true life, in the great compassion of God on high, by the mercy brought low, found in Christ, we are led out. The struggle is his; and He has overcome, He is the means for us, into everlasting life to the glory of God the Father. We are lifted up, as on the wings of eagles; set free from the limits of man alone, that we may know the depths and breadth of God’s majesty and love for us. Do you have a sense of the glory of God, the release of God’s power for you. Hear the love in his voice for you. Know the comfort of his arms around you. He calls us upward, rise, come and see, and He will give you strength and sight and knowledge of the true way. He asks only your faith, your trust in him, & toward Him and His promise never changing, is with Him, that He will never leave you nor forsake you. His word and his voice are a gift unto your heart and for your soul, that you be nourished and brought to ever renewing life, by the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is the seal of God in you; and nothing can take Him from you!

In God we come to perfect freedom, we are unbound from the power of sin & death and destruction. We are called into love, to love and to know love, in the Kingdom of God, by the Father who is love. His Kingdom fills & expands, and is ever living, prospering through eternity, unending, from everlasting to everlasting.

All is possible through God who loves us; and who, in His great mercy, has made His way for us in Jesus Christ. That which is impossible for man has become possible for us, for we are in the hand of God. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. It is His blessing upon us; His mercy, his love, unearned by us, the gift of the one, the lifegiving God, the source of all that is, seen and unseen, which exist to His Glory. In the Son, Jesus, we are restored to the joy of righteousness, the purity of life, as was granted in life given, by God in creation. God did not create us for suffering; but as a joyful expression of his love. Come, taste and see that the Lord, He is good. God himself has already made us able, in Him, to receive the fulfillment of his blessed provision and grants us freewill/a choice in him, that we may enter in. Are we then willing, to both ask and proclaim, as our psalmist, and, as in our worship today, I will say unto the Lord, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”       Take a look at our Psalm in your bulletin

And, If this is the desire of your heart; would you say with me: Lord you are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I trust Lord

We come to know, that our worship together, in the Lord, is an expression of love for Him, our trust/faith in Him; and our thankfulness, that He is able and will do that which He has promised, and so much more to our good, than we could ever, possibly, think or imagine. Our God is so great, all, and more, is possible in Him, the Lord our God.

Let’s dwell a while longer in the Lords heart of love for us; and let him have His way in us.  Look again in our Psalm at verses 14-16; reflect upon them a moment; and then, I’m going to ask, that you read them aloud with me: 14 Because He has set His love upon me, therefore I will deliver him* I will set him up because he has known my Name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will hear him* indeed I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him and bring him honor. 16 With long life I will satisfy him* and show him my salvation.   Glory be unto the Father & the Son & the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.  Amen

Before we move on, a few comments: You may recognize these promises speak as well of / are  directed to proclaim Jesus; but we are the object of his promise, God’s word was granted that we would know him, and that in Jesus, God’s will be made whole in us, as we are in him and he in us, we are fulfilled in him.    To satisfy with long life refers to Jesus resurrection and to the gift he grants us of eternal life in him. As we meditate upon his word, life and joy are renewed in us. See in Hebrews4: 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart Thanks be to God!

We heard in our Gospel lesson in Mark 10, Jesus disciples, James & John asking a special request of the Lord; they asked Jesus, that, in the heavenly Kingdom, might they be permitted the seats immediately to his right & left. That certainly did not go over well; but Jesus loved them. */ But, I wonder what would each one of us, ask of the Lord. We are called into a close & relationship with him that might discuss and ask personal matters, hopes and dreams and even our fears.

What do you want to ask of Jesus? What do either of us desire to be granted; or to be set free from? What do we wish him, to enable in us? What is the Lord calling in you? What is the Holy Spirit stirring up in you? Is it faith that could move mountains; hope that can inspire new life in others; humility and thankfulness before a loving God?

It matters that our hearts are revealed to him. Our relationship with Him, be rooted in trust and sincerity. Genuine love is sincere. Jesus is not out to trap us in our weakness; but to set us free to experience true fulfilment. Do we want to know God more dearly?    Consider Jesus words from John 15: 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Jesus truth is with you; and no secrets hid from you. He has opened to you, everlasting, the way of his glory.  We all want to do well before our Lord. We are successful in that desire, as we open ourselves to Him; that he may lead us and that the true desire of our hearts be with him. We know that where your treasure is your heart will follow. Let our hearts, our desires, our hopes, our treasure be directed toward Heaven, in Jesus Christ, where no one can take it from us. We pray Lord, your will be done in us. May the gift and calling of God in you, remain ever fruitful; ask Jesu to live and reign with forevermore. Amen


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