Inventory of Blessings: Presence – A sermon based on Psalm 41
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May the grace of God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ keep you aware of the Spirit’s comforting, cleansing, empowering and guiding presence in your life!
Inventory Management Systems
Thirty-five years ago, I was the night shift manager at McDonalds. There was a lesson I learned there. A lesson I think we need to learn regarding our relationship with God.
And that lesson is the backbone of this sermon series, which I’ve titled “Inventory of Blessings”
We have to keep track of our assets. We have to know what we have to work with each day. At McDonalds, it was burger patties, bread, French fries and all the stuff that went with them. If you didn’t take inventory, you could have too much on hand, and it could go bad and cost the company money. If you don’t know you need to restock, and you run out of French fries—you lose not only sales—you lose your customer base.
While we can never have too many or too few blessings from God, we need to take inventory of them often, so we know what we have to depend on as we go through life. This is far more important than having enough burgers or filet-o-fish in the freezer!
We see King David doing such an inventory in Psalm 41 this morning. And it wasn’t as easy—but that is a good lesson for us to live as well.
- Look how great God Is!
He starts out well in verse 1, taking inventory of God’s work!
The Lord gives joy to those who help the poor
The Lord rescues those in trouble
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive.
The Lord gives removes all obstacles. (gives them prosperity)
The Lord rescues them from enemies
The Lord Nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health!
Wow—look at all the things David saw God doing for others! What an amazing thing it is, to see God at work in the lives of people around you! To see the God whose given His name (which we replace with Lord) as how His people are to know Him, at work in the lives of people, is a truly amazing thing.
What an amazing thing to know God in this way!
The more he considers, the closer he gets to praying a prayer that God desires to answer.
4 “O LORD,” I prayed, “have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
David reaches out and confesses his sin…he’s taken a huge step, trusting God to heal him of the damage sin causes. David entrusts his very life, and all its brokenness to God…
And at that moment… all hell breaks loose.
- Wait—my confession wasn’t supposed to be used against me!
David goes right from pleading for forgiveness to overwhelming paranoia.
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me. “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask. 6 They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere. 7 All who hate me whisper about me, imagining the worst. 8 “He has some fatal disease,” they say. “He will never get out of that bed!” 9 Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
One problem that happens when we are entrusting our lives, including sin, to God, is demonic interference.
Satan and his demon horde would do anything to stop us from realizing how present and compassionate God our Father is! There are many games that can be played! One of the greatest is to get us to look at how the world condemns us for the sin that we just confessed!
David thinks, “How people would gossip about me!” They would meet out in the parking lot, or at the coffee shop and mock me. I can hear the exaggerations now!
It is not beyond reason to picture shame and guilt as demons, fighting to keep their claws hooked in our heart and soul, trying to convince us that the world hates us, not because of who we are, but because of what we thought, what we said, what we did.
Everything we saw God doing disappears in this fight!
Sometimes, that paranoia is right on!
That little line about those who are closest, those who eat with you, betraying you, is something most of us know, and deal with, as the deep wounds caused by loved ones turning against us…
Even Jesus felt those wounds, as all 12 of the apostles abandoned him at the cross. Two of the closest, Peter and Judas, abandoned him as clearly as King Saul and David’s son, Absalom, betrayed David.
And in the middle of dealing with all this, we sin again, having taken our eyes off of God. forgotten that we had cried out, and we miss His answer…
- It doesn’t matter He is here!
This is when we need to take inventory of God’s blessings the most.
That is when we need someone to say something we respond to with, “and also with you!”
We need to take inventory and remember our great asset is the presence of God Almighty in our lives. The God who brings us peace and comfort, whose presence gladdens our heart, who cares and protects us so well that we can sleep the night in true peace…
He is here!!
Remember all the things David saw do for others? He again asks God for mercy, and then they all come true for David.
Here how the psalm declares these praises:
10 LORD, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back! 11 I know you are pleased with me, for you have not let my enemies triumph over me. 12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever. 13 Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen!
David gets back to business. He cries out for God’s mercy and healing!
Look at verse 12 one more time: “12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.”
David said this, and we can and should say it as well,
God, You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.
That is the work of Jesus at the cross… because of His death, where our sin was nailed to the cross, we have entered, not will enter, have entered the presence of God—where we will dwell forever!
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT2)
That is the day we are looking for, this day when our life in Christ is revealed to the whole world. When we see God, in whose presence we dwell….
Until then—take inventory often, realizing that you already dwell in His presence. He has cleansed you of sin, comforted and healed you! For this He has promised you…and promised you can help others realize these blessings… and praise God with them.
For you dwell in His presence and know His peace! AMEN!