The Least of These: Ministering to Those in Need (July 20 – 26, 2019)
Reading: Ps. 9:7–9, 13–20; Psalm 82; Psalm 101; Psalm 146; Prov. 10:4; 13:23, 25; 30:7–9.
Memory Text: “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3, 4, NKJV).
Sunday (Shelley Quinn) – “Psalms: Songs of Hope for the Oppressed”
Monday (Ryan Day) – “Do Something, God!”
Tuesday (John Lomacang) – “A King’s Promises”
Wednesday (Jill Morikone) – “Walking With the Lord”
Thursday (Mollie Steenson) – “Proverbs: Mercy on the Needy”
the Bible tells us in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God it says to receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls and to be diligent to present yourself approved to God rightly dividing the word of truth join us now for the 3abn Sabbath School panel our study today is the least of these hello I'm Shelley Quinn and we welcome you once again to 3abn Sabbath School panel we're excited that you join us to study we hope that you have a lesson and a Bible and pencil and paper and in case you don't have to listen let me tell you how you can get it you can go to a be SG dot Adventist dot o-r-g and download a lesson or you can drop by your nearest seventh-day Adventist Church they'll be happy to give you a quarterly and will most likely invite you to come in and study personally with them our Porter what we're studying this quarter is called the least of these ministering to those in need and obviously you know this could have been called we could have used canes quote am I my brother's keeper but instead it's using a quote from Jesus Christ in Matthew 25:40 where he was saying you know I was hungry you fed me I was thirsty you gave me to drink I was sick and in prison you came to visit me and they said when lord he said if you do it to the least of these you have done it to me so let me introduce our panel my brothers and sisters in Christ people I dearly loved we have with us Pastor Brian day Ryan we're so glad you're part of it it's always a blessing to be here then we had my precious pastor of the Thompson ville seventh-day Adventist Church pastor John Romo came it's always a joy to study the Word of God together especially with this team well you feel the same way and then my dear precious sister Jill Morricone it's a privilege to be here and open up God's Word thank you and in my best be on the end my lease is Steenson were so glad to have you back well it's a joy to be here well it's a joy to study with each and every one of you before we begin I would like for who has Brian why don't you open with prayer because we need the Lord absolutely Father in heaven what we first want to just take this time to uplift you and to praise you for being our God because you are worthy the Lord at this time as we open your word again Lord we just ask for your Holy Spirit please each and every word that flows tomorrow from our mouth and every thought that is shared here today I pray God that it is in harmony with your word and your will that each and every person listening or participating in this particular program I pray that we will all be blessed and drawn ever closer to our blessed Savior Jesus Christ and we thank you for Jesus Christ in a sacrifice that he gave for us for none of us would be here without him we praise you O Father and when we thank you for again this wonderful opportunity and we ask these things in Jesus name Amen thank you for that beautiful prayer well we are on less than four and this is mercy and justice in the Psalms and in the Proverbs and we see that the Book of Psalms these are hymns lament songs of Thanksgiving royal Psalms and throne meant songs penitential songs and in the wisdom or didactic songs the Book of Proverbs basically gives us a godly worldview it leads us into the wisdom of God and when you're looking at proverbs I always say proverbs 1:7 is the perspective for understanding all of the Proverbs and here's what it says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge fools despise wisdom and instruction so everything in the Proverbs is about knowing how to revere and that's what that word here is to respect to hope God and oh the fear of the Lord is a biblical shorthand if you will for living a life of love in God walking in obedience and worshiping the Lord our memory text for this lesson for is Psalm 82 3 & 4 and it says defend the poor and the fatherless do justice to the afflicted and needy deliver the poor and needy free them from the hand of the wicked when we look at our world today the world is permeated by injustice is it not we see so many people being oppressed people in the church people out of the church but God is still the hope of all nations he is the hope of all people and what this quarterly is doing is showing us what true religion is and that is to defend the poor and the fence so what we hope that you'll find in this quarterly is inspiration to overcome our own self-centered nature and to take care of others so let's look at Sunday and in Sunday's lesson this is songs of hope for the oppressed I'm going to read a couple of paragraphs straight from the quarterly because I think this was written so beautifully it says as we've already noted God sees and hears people who are interested distress in trouble most often in the Psalms we hear those cries from people who have trusted in God but are not seeing justice done the affirmations of the goodness justice and power of God can seem overwhelmed by the injustice and oppression that the voices in these songs experience or observe yet and here's what I love these are the songs of those who are still singing neither their life nor their faith has been quenched there is still hope and the urgency is for God to act before it is too late before evil triumphs before the oppressed are destroyed by the way that the evil brought against them and in this way the writers of the Psalms try to bridge the gap between the affirmations of their faith and the trials and tragedies of life in that beautiful alright let's look at some chapter 9 and I'm going to ask a few of you to read if you will Psalm chapter 9 and let's start with verse 10 Jill do you have that excuse me start with verse 7 79 80 79 but the Lord shall endure forever he has prepared his throne for judgment he shall judge the world in righteousness and he shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness the Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed a refuge in times of trouble so the Lord there that is the Covenant name for God that is Yahweh or Jehovah as we might pronounce it and he's saying our covenant God is still on the throne he is judging the world even though judgment doesn't come final judgment till the end of the world God as judge of the earth even now he executes justice for the oppressed and offers protection from the wicked now Molly would you read verse 10 verse 10 Psalm 9 verse 10 and those who know your name will put their trust in you or pardon me for you Lord have not forsaken those who seek you so to know God is to be connected to God in a in an intimate and loving relationship and we can always look to God in our time of need and depend upon him as our Vindicator so the whole point of this Psalm is that we have to trust God to uphold our cause and not get down in the mouth filled with hay for others our self-pity when we're falsely accused maybe were ignored or underappreciated we trust God for the perfect timing of our reward now let's look at verse 13 Psalm 9 13 through 20 John you want to do that sure have mercy on me O Lord consider my trouble from those who hate me you who lift me up from the gates of death that I may tell of all your praise and the gates of the daughter of Zion I will rejoice in your salvation the nation's have sunk down in the pit which they made in the net which they hid their own foot is caught the Lord is known by the judgment he execute the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands meditations say live the wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God pause for just a second at one point this is a great word play on the word forget because Hell there is literally shield that the place of the grave where they are forgotten so if you forget God you're going to be in the grave and you're forgotten okay for the needy shall not always be forgotten the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever arise O Lord do not let man prevail but the nation's be judged in your sight put then in fear o Lord that the nation's may know themselves to be but men sail off so what he's saying here is God will rise up and he's going to put when he says put them in fear this isn't the fear of the Lord that we experience as his people the fear of the Lord that we experience as his people is as I said the appreciation for God a respect and an awe but what he's saying is Lord strike the evil ones would terror they're rebelling the wicked are rebelling against your authority they're plotting evil for others so he's saying Lord let them suffer the faith that they had planned for the others and you know we find this and Molly would you turn to proverbs 26 27 because we find this theme throughout the Bible that the wicked are plotting against others and God turns it around on them malee proverbs 26 27 whoever digs a pit will fall into it and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him so people may think they're getting a wave when they are spreading rumors when they are doing evil things and trying to bring other people down but God says hey you're digging a pit well the God of Justice is going to remember who you're trying to persecute and and he's going to turn it around on you so the future is bright for the oppressed God promises he's not going to forget us and we can count on that because he is the champion of the week so David in this Psalm is calling on God to bring to bring justice so that it brings glory and honor to the Lord's name the tension here we see throughout the Psalms there's a tension between David's faith and God in God's goodness and the circumstances that he faces but the repeated answer to this tension throughout the songs is the hope and promise of God's good and just judgment so evil may seem to triumph right now but guess what God still in charge and here's what I wanted to read one more thing from you I thought this was interesting this is a quote from our quarterly it says in reflections on the psalm CS Lewis describes his initial surprise at the excitement and longing for God's judgment as expressed repeatedly in the Psalms observing that many Bible readers today considered judgment something to be feared he considers the original Jewish perspective and writes thousands of people who've been stripped of all they possess and who have the right entirely on their side will it last be heard of course they are not afraid of judgment they know right now their cases and unanswerable but if only it could be heard when God comes to judge at last it will Amen praise the Lord do something god that is the internet's the title of monday's lesson do something god I think all of us have felt that way at some point you know I know that it many times in my life I just you know you in kind of our humanistic mindset and our kind of a carnal mindset sometimes we want something done then and there and we want a response we want judgment we want justice and I found myself many times in life crying out lord where are you please show up and do something and so this is what we find happening in this particular lesson I'm not going to I'm not going to spend much time in a lot of different portions of Scripture because of the the foundation of this particular lesson is actually spent mostly in Psalm 82 now if you read the lesson you'll notice that's the that's the bulk of the scripture that's shared there but I have just a few texts that I'm going to share throughout this lesson but primarily staying in Psalm 82 I want to just read through Psalm 82 it's not a very long psalm it's only eight verses but I want to read through it and then just kind of go back and just pick this apart to see exactly what it is that God is sharing with us through this inspired writing so Psalm 82 verses one through eight notice what the Bible says God stands in the congregation of the mighty he judges among the gods okay so notice that's a little G there and we'll come back to that in a moment how long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked say law defend the poor and fatherless do justice to the afflicted and meeting deliver the poor and needy free them from the hand of the wicked they do not know nor do they understand they walk about in darkness all the foundations of the earth are unstable I said you are gods and all of you are children of the Most High but you shall die like men and fall like one of the princes arise Oh God judge the earth for you shall inherit all of the nations and so you can see that the writer of this particular Psalm is just crying out to this injustice that it's occurring but yet at the same time he recognizes in that closing verse which we're going to highlight in a moment that he is calling out for God to be the great judge that he is I want to go back to verse want to just kind of highlight a few things as we go back through this and show you just how powerful this really is in reference to the topic that we're discussing so verse 1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty he judges among the gods so God's supreme presidency and power in all councils and courts asserted and laid down here in this particular passage in this particular verse that's being established here he is established as it is established that the great truth is necessary to believe to be believed by the Kings princes presidents judges and magistrates of all kind so basically every any person who's been given the responsibility to judge been given that honor to be represented in that way they have to recognize first and foremost and be humble that of course God is the Almighty judge and so that's very very important we see that God is standing here as the chief director the Almighty righteous judge as he is indeed and of course notice this this when I first read this he judges among the gods some people might read that and think what does that mean what does he what is he communicating there like the angels okay notice this in Scripture like the angels and other subordinate figures of Scripture God refers to those given the responsibility of judgment as little gods in fact the actual word here the the Hebrew dialect is Elohim and so it sits in the obviously in the subordinate sense that like God notice this good judges and magistrates are to exercise their duties and responsibilities with the honor God has placed upon them they are his vices and meant to be a great blessing to the people and I'm thinking of another text that comes to – proverbs chapter 16 verse 10 which says divination is on the lips of the king his mouth must not transgress in judgment so there is a high responsibility and that is very clearly communicating in the open verse but then we get on to verse 2 and it's almost like this this particular the writer here the author he's calling out these wicked judges notice what it says in verse 2 how long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked so right here in this particular verse it is indirectly stated that the magistrates had been unjust and corrupt and so not only they not only excused the wicked but even decided in their favor against the righteous in many cases and so it's interesting that this particular verse also ends with a say law almost as if there's a pause here because it's a question and it's almost like the author is is indeed looking for a response how long is this going to happen how long are you going to show partiality to the wicked almost like there is a response here again proverbs chapter 28 verse 15 and other great text that highlights this particular issue proverbs 28 verse 15 says like a roaring lion and a charging bear is a wicked ruler over poor people very much a truth indeed then we go into verse three and four defend the poor and fatherless do justice to the afflicted and needy this was our memory text I believe deliver the poor and needy free them from the hand of the wicked so right here in this particular verse a charge is given to all magistrates to do good with their power and and they will answer to him by whom they are entrusted with it okay they are to be the protectors of those who lie exposed to injury and and the patrons of those who want advice and assistance and of course they are to go on to defend people like the poor who have no money wherewith to make friends or or to feed counsel and of course and to the fatherless as well who while they are young and unable to help themselves we know they have lost those who would have been the guides of their youth and so we are to help these particular individuals we are counseled through this Psalm to that indeed we are to follow the example of job in job chapter 29 verse 12 the Bible says this because I delivered the poor who cried out the fatherless and the one who had no helper jojje job were told as a righteous man he was perfect in the eyes of God and he indeed followed in the example verse 5 again much like verse 2 we see there is a charge drawn up against bad magistrates who neglected their duty and abuse their power forgetting that God stands among them so notice what verse 5 says here they do not know nor do they understand they walk about in darkness all the foundations of the earth are unstable ok and this particular point here reminds me of a text in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verses 16 and 17 notice what Solomon writes here moreover I saw Under the Sun in the place of judgment wickedness was there and in the place of righteousness iniquity was there so all of this dismisses this radical misjudgment and and exercising the the misapplication of misuse and abuse of power is due to iniquity we just want to highlight that very clearly and it kind of just points me back to one of the previous lessons that when we when we pay attention to the law of God not in the sense that it saves us but that it points out our sin when we pay attention to the righteous character of God then we see ourself and we see those this flaw those flaws within us and so obviously these individuals who are misusing and abusing the power that God has bestowed upon them they are living a life of iniquity they are not living a righteous life in Christ verse 17 of Ecclesiastes 3 goes on to say I said in my heart God shall judge the righteous and the wicked for there is a time therefore for every purpose and for every work and then we go on verses 6 through 8 I want to end on this one because it's it's really powerful he says I said you are God's almost like almost like he's bringing another guys I know I said that you are gods but notice what he says and all of you are children of the Most High but you shall die like men and fall like one of the princes and so right here God will wreck he's recognizing that he will reckon with them and will cut them off in the midst of their pomp and prosperity they will die like other wicked men and fall like one of the heathen princes and and many of the fallen angels and many of the unjust that we were told about all through the Bible these men may be high and mighty now but God says look you will have your time your reward is coming amen but I love verse eight because it brings back the positive nature of this whole conversation that is he says arise O God here's the answer to this whole problem arise O God judge the earth for you shall inherit all nations so when we look at a situation like this and we're talking about the misuse and abuse of power and judgment and justice we know that we can place this whole entire situation in God's hands because he is the righteous judge he is the answer to this text that comes to my mind when I was when I was really studying this particular subject out is a text that many people often don't consider in this particular subject but that's Isaiah chapter 9 and we noticed verse 6 says that powerful verse run to us a child is born unto us a son is given and the government will be upon his shoulder and it goes on to give all the names of Christ but notice verse 7 I love this about Jesus it says of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end upon the throne of David and over his kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward even forever the zeal of the Lord of the hosts will perform this we can place our trust in Christ and know that the vengeance is his and that he will rightly judge on behalf of the righteous a minute amen thank you for that good word and we want you to stay tuned we'll be right back ever wish you could watch a three-bean sabbath-school panel again or share it on Facebook Instagram or Twitter well you can by visiting 3abn sabbath-school panel comm a clean design makes it easy to find the program you're looking for there are also links to the adult Bible study guide so you can follow along sharing is easy just click share and choose your favorite social media cheryline save a life for eternity and we're back we're going to pass the baton to Pastor John Lowe McCain who is Tuesday's lesson a king Nyssa promises Thank You Shelley thank you Pastor Ryan this lesson is an exciting one but in some sense the writer has given us a beautiful task of extracting from this lesson things that we haven't often thought about and the King's promises are primarily focused on Psalm 101 verse 1 to 8 and I want to take a quick peek at that because he points out that although written for leaders what important counsel can we take from it ourselves whatever our position in life in Psalm 101 verse 1 to 8 the principles of leadership are embodied there but I want to bring out a few points about leadership principles because leadership principles I mean I like reading leadership books you know leadership 360 number of other books have just the library books about leadership that I've noticed that leaders talk about effective characters to do traits they often focus on things that will be if you do this and this would occur they always work on cause and effect yes but what I want to point out when it comes to Christian leadership we can't just look at cause and effect we have to look at where the power comes from a man and that's a big part of what happens in Christian leadership so what I want to do before I go into the particular points that I brought out about leadership skills that are really embodied in Psalm 101 I want to make a point first of all making a pledge to exemplify any good character cannot be accomplished by effort making a pledge to exemplify any good character cannot be accomplished by effort because it presupposes that you're good right in the Christian life of presupposes that we're good but the Bible says in Romans 3:12 they have all turned aside they have together become unprofitable there is none who does good no not one so to exemplify good principles when I can't find anything good in me Paul says I know that am i that didn't me that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing yes so we can't come from our own well and there's a quotation that I found in the book the ministry of healing page 176 this is written in 1905 but it's a very powerful quote it says God has given us under the subtitle mind has power of choice God has given us the power of choice it is ours to exercise but listen to this we cannot change our hearts we cannot control our thoughts our impulses our affections we cannot make ourselves pure fit for God's service but we can choose to serve God we can give him our will and that watch this then he will work in us to will and to do according to his good pleasure thus the whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ so while we can't make ourselves pure we can make ourselves fit we can choose who to serve and I've learned as I've walked through Romans those of us who love Romans Romans is almost as an athletic book of righteousness Romans makes it very clear you know there are three aspects of romans romans 6:16 one with 717 and then I jump all the way up Nations 2:20 that's right which is it is no longer I who do it but sin that lives in me Romans seven seventeenth in Galatians 2:20 it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me so you have it is no longer it is no longer in both cases books apart but in one case it's sin that's doing it the other one it's Christ who lives in me so for those who want to be effective leaders we have to first come to the place that Christ has to live in us for anything good to come out of us because Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure so let's look at some of these effective leadership skills that are brought out in Psalm 101 first of all an effective leader leads by giving the praise to God Psalm 101 verse 1 I will sing of mercy and justice to you O Lord I will sing praises I believe if we learn how to praise God then we will teach others how to pray god the church cannot rise higher than its leadership the organization cannot rise higher than its leadership the leadership sets the cadence you know reminds me of a guy that one day I heard about this a guy that was called this this was actually a true story the White House centuries back not centuries back but more than 100 years ago had to be repaired and they called in a guy that was a master mason to fix the steps well he was so excited about the steps being completed but he noticed that when he started when it was opened up for people to use it people were stumbling as they walk up the steps so why is everybody stumbling they walking up the steps and they came to find out that the guy who repaired the steps repaired them to his own standards he had a peg leg once that was higher than the other and it was fine for him because he said it to his standards and oftentimes when our standards are skewed or off-kilter people coming in our steps are going to stumble that's what the Bible says make straight paths for your feet so the lame wouldn't be turned out of the way so one of the things first things the leader has to do a leader step has to be made straight and buts and I believe those steps are made straight when we give praise to God for the call that he's put on our lives second Psalm 101 verse 2 the condition of the heart affects the behavior of the life I will behave wisely in a perfect way oh when when will you come to me I will walk within my house with a perfect heart the condition of the heart affects the behavior of the life I didn't put numbers on these jail but I'm on point okay the third one Psalm 101 verse 3 our character traits are molded by our visual influences by beholding we become changed verse 3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes I hate the works of those who fall away it shall come it shall not cling to me I have made it my wife and I have made this vow in our home we don't watch filthy things on our television and commercials out of suggestive in in carnal I don't even look at them if they flash in to talk about something coming up some Victoria's Secrets Fall Festival coming up on Sunday at 7:30 whatever I get off a honey shirt turn that I don't even need that image in my mind man and so David found clearly when you put wicker things before your eyes it affects your heart you cannot put wicked things before a leader cannot look at wicked things and be a righteous leader can I do it the other one 101 verse 4 guard the thoughts of your heart a perverse heart shall depart from me I will not know wickedness God the thoughts of your heart you know the Bible says as a man thinketh so is he as he thinks in this heart the reason why says heart you know when you love somebody like that yeah you don't say it's hard on the brain because it's the matter of the heart is a heart of the matter and so when your heart is right before God your life will be right before God because out of the heart comes what close the issues of life as a man thinks so is he and you could always tell what's in a person's heart out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks so guard your heart your words will be seasoned with righteousness and your life will be flavored with God's presence the other one do not participate in slander that's insulting or display a haughty spirit that's arrogant a leader that's arrogant is a leader that may get things done but will never affect change in people's lives you know do that well you might do it but you'll say you know I don't want to be anything like him I can't wait to get another job baba says whoever secretly slanders his neighbor him I will destroy the one who has a hard look and a proud heart him I will not endure God doesn't like people that are arrogant and Christian leaders cannot afford to be arrogant pastors that say I'm a pastor you do what I tell you I don't leave that way I try to be humble even when people complain about something I've done I said well now maybe I don't take everything they said to be legitimate but what did I do to cause them to even want to complain and I asked Lord did is that true can I gain something from it never be to the point where you are arrogant and never think that you're everybody's cup of tea either all right 101 verse six we are called to make faithful decisions and choose our paths wisely my eyes shall be on the faithful of the land that they may dwell with me he who walks in a perfect way he shall serve me make wise choices for your pads you can't go left and expect to go right it's just not possible 101 verse 7 embrace honesty in your business life he who works the deceit shall not dwell within my house he who tells lies shall not continue in my presence be honest and the last one 101 verse 8 do not associate with people that practice wickedness early I will destroy all the wicked of the land that I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord Ellen White says in southern watchman August 1 1905 there is no limit to the usefulness of one who putting self aside makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life holy consecrated to God I believe that's what David the psalmist intended when your life is holy consecrated to God then it will show in your words your actions your deeds and surely in your leadership yes sir that's powerful I think that's something we all want you know what I gotta get those notes look I'm just telling you right now I got I love that some for leaders Psalm 101 mine is some 146 we're going through the Book of Psalms here so just jump a couple Psalms / Psalm 146 this is walking with the Lord is Wednesday's lesson the Lord watches over the needy walking with the Lord the last five songs really grow in crescendo and praise to God the last five Psalms 1 46 47 48 49 and 50 all begin with praise the Lord and they all end with praise the Lord praise the Lord or hallelujah in Hebrew it's Hollow combined with yah the word for Yahweh Jehovah so this exuberant joyous praise for God amen and so we see this crescendo in this praise as we get toward the end of the psalms praise is not dependent on circumstances right I have a little post-it note Miss Molly and I have it up on my mirror and it says joy is not the absence of trouble but it is the presence of Christ and so praise is not dependent on circumstances as we shall see from this Psalm 146 there's some hard things going on but praise is not dependent on those circumstances we are called to praise anyway even in the pain in the trial in the difficulty we are called to praise Him let's read verses 1 & 2 praise the Lord praise the Lord on my soul while I live I will praise the Lord I would sing praises to my god while I have my being Paul told us the same thing in 1st Thessalonians 5 16 through 18 rejoice evermore pray without ceasing in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you praise is not dependent on other people no matter how powerful people are or no matter how influential they might be they can still fail you didn't read the next couple verses verses 3 & 4 do not put your trust in Princes nor in a son of man in whom there is no help his spirit departs he returns to his earth in that very day his plans perish we are to put our hope our trust in the Lord God verses 5 through 10 I see 12 attributes of God let's read those verses here together verse 5 happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help whose hope is in the Lord his God God is our helper verse 6 who made heaven and earth the sea and all that is in them God is our Creator who keeps truth forever God is unchanging who executes justice for the oppressed God is our judge who gives food for the hungry God is our provider the Lord gives freedom to the prisoners God is our deliverer the Lord opens the eyes of the blind god is our healer the Lord raises those who are bowed down God is our encouragement the Lord loves the righteous God is our lover and friend the Lord watches over the strangers God is our protector he relieves the fatherless and widow God is our sustainer but the way the wicked he turns upside down God is our judge and we already saw that up a few verses I see judge here twice in this passage the Lord shall reign forever God is eternal your God o Zion to all generations praise the Lord the Sun ends the very same way that it begins hello yeah praise to God Jehovah creator God what does praise do for me as a Christian praise is powerful you know in my own journey in my own walk with God when I learned that my relationship with God was not dependent on how I felt but it was dependent on the promises found in the Word of God that revolutionized my journey with Jesus I used to think if I woke up and I and I prayed and it felt like my prayer has hit the ceiling and bounced back down well then God didn't hear me or there was something wrong in my relationship with God but when I learned that I can base my faith on the promises in God's Word and that I can praise him anyway it changed my walk with Him so I want to give you five things that praise does for us as Christians now of course there's more things but all we have time for right now is 5 number one praise takes the focus off of myself and it turns it outward toward God we're going to Psalm 30:5 you know it's difficult to think about two things at the very same time now I can be thinking about one thing and then your mind instantly jumps to something else and then you're like no wait a minute I was over here and you can bring your mind back but it's difficult for me to be engaged in self-pity and thoughts about myself and thinking about something else but the converse is true if I'm focused on Jesus and praising him it automatically takes the focus off myself I'm 3528 my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long praise them takes the focus off of me and it turns it outward toward God number two praise makes the enemy flee second chronicles chapter 20 Josaphat was in this tremendous battle of the Moabites and the ammonites were coming against him and the people and he went on his face before God but what made the enemy fleet second chronicles 20 22 when they began to sing and to praise the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon Moab and Mount Seir who would come against Judah and they were defeated so praise when they began to praise the enemy fled number three praise especially United praise invites God's presence this is one of my favorite ones in chronicles five thirteen or fourteen the dedication of the temple and it says it came to pass when the trumpeters and singers were as women that's that you unity when they were as one to make one sound to be heard and praising and thanking the Lord when they lifted up their voice with the trumpet and cymbals and instruments of music and praise the Lord so they're united as one in praise what happened the house the house of the Lord was filled with the cloud and it was so thick that they could not even continue ministering God showed up United praise brought the presence of death now I was never very good at math but one of the theorems or whatever you call them I remember is if a equals B and B equals C then a equals C if you all remember one that salutely so if we have praise is a and praise United praise brings B that's the presence of God now let's read our next scripture so I'm sixteen eleven you will show me the path of life and your presence is fullness of joy this means presence brings joy joy so if you're lacking joy in your life and you say I'm struggling we need to go back to a and you need to praise praise brings the presence of God and the presence of God brings joy but there's a D the next verse Nehemiah 8:10 the joy of the Lord is your strength so praise brings the presence of God the presence of God brings joy and joy brings strength so if you're feeling weak if you're feeling discouraged if you do not have strength in your Christian journey you need to pray because that will give you strength praise will give you joy and praise will bring you the presence of God finally number five praise allows God to work remember Paul and Silas in the dáil in Philippi at midnight what does the Bible say in acts 16 25 and 26 at midnight they were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them and suddenly what happened the Lord brought deliverance J Hudson Taylor founder of the China Inland Mission in 1870 his son Samuel died and that's tremendous pain and devastation six months later his wife gave birth to a baby who died two weeks after that his wife died now he lost his wife and two of his children she was 33 and he was 38 and he wrote in his journal I am so thankful that I can serve Jesus one more day that is a life of praise they say at the time of his death 25,000 converts to Christianity could be traced to the legacy of his work in his name and his influence so get out of yourself and praise God yeah I love that the joy of the Lord is our strength that's right praise God okay hi I'm going to take you to proverbs so all of you to turn to proverbs because I'm going to have a little panel interaction here with this teaching okay proverbs we're looking at mercy on the needy and that's proverbs 14 31 we'll look at that here in a few minutes and I love the book of Proverbs I was talking earlier today about my amplified bible that is falling apart I mean the covers off of it but you can see you can find proverbs just by shutting it because the oil of my fingers has darkened proverbs I've been in it so much it's like sitting down with the wisest person in the universe and letting him explain issues of life which you know what we're doing when we sit down with proverbs sitting down with the wisest person in the universe we're sitting down with the writer of the word who wrote the word who is the author of our word oh oh mighty God okay the Proverbs tell us how to live our daily lives outside of the church building and not just on Sabbath amen everyday living the ability to live life skillfully and issues of life that practical living whether we're in a Pleasant Valley don't we love our Pleasant valleys and when you're in a Pleasant Valley you better be preparing for the obstacles to come because adversity have y'all any of y'all ever had adversity show up on your door if you hadn't prepared yourself in your day of Pleasant Valley when adversity comes you're not prepared so in that Pleasant Valley or in the throes of battle God has practical instruction for you we see instruction for these in for those in poverty and remember that's what we're really looking at in our study is people in poverty the rich the content we see instruction for the discontent for those who are being treated justly past alone McCain and those who are being treated unjustly it's it's the full scope of what we as humanity will face we are going to find practical instruction in these proverbs now I want us to go to proverbs 10:4 because I'm going to read the scripture then I'm going to ask my noted panelists who are theologians and brilliant godly men and women to tell me what this proverb is saying – just what does it say to your heart so proverbs 10:4 he who has a slack hand becomes poor but the hand of the diligent makes rich what what is that what does that speak to you for your daily living can't be lazy don't be lazy okay if you have a slight can but the hand of the diligent what is a diligence somebody that gets out there and works that garden you know you can look at the garden and say oh god has blessed you so beautifully with this beautiful garden that you have and you can say yeah but you should have seen it last year when God when I didn't when I didn't help him you know we have a diligent hand and we are the ones that God uses to and and God blesses the works of our hands praise God for that okay proverbs 19 15 here we go lazing this cast one into a deep sleep but an idle person shall suffer hunger so I just want to pass along McCain you want to comment on bad there's lazy people you know there's a proverb I love with my proverbs have so many square boxes around them there's another one that says a lazy man says there's a lion in the street if I go out he'll devour me that reminds me of this one idle people they don't work and they don't eat and that's rightfully their course in life yeah if you don't work you don't eat just little idioms yeah I don't know if they're Alabama idioms or not but Molly isn't there are no free lunches you know well this day and age there might be but there shouldn't be because it teaches people to be idle if God will be lit again bless the works of your hands okay now then proverbs 15 15 got to kind of switch gears here and then we're going to go to Philippians 4:8 proverbs but stay in proverbs proverbs 15 15 all the days of the afflicted by anxious thoughts and foreboding or evil but what are all the days of the afflicted who are thinking on have anxious thoughts and foreboding their evil but he who has a very merry heart has a continual feast so what is that speaking to you you know I do know there's so many people who worry jesus said do not be anxious about anything you can't add anything good and there's enough problems in each day each day has promised sufficient of its own if we are constantly filling ourselves with anxious thoughts our days are brewing but when you as Jill's so beautifully put if you've got you find your joy and your strength in the Lord you'll have a merry heart and you're going to have a feast with God throughout the bad times a man that that's true again you're in in the presence of the Lord there as full as the strength and the joy at the Lord is my story God inhabits the praises of his people and in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy and the joy of the Lord is their strength that is just a truth well I've got you in proverbs chapter 4 verse 8 finally brethren whatsoever things are true whatsoever things are noble whatsoever things are just whatsoever things are pure whatsoever things are lovely whatever things are of good report if there be any virtue if there be anything praiseworthy what are we to do I think that's what we're to think on so perforate right is that what I said dad say proverbs but it is I've got it written down right here physically okay so we can't if we find our mind and all of us do this we find our mind drifting to this calamity that is before us and we have to buy an act of our will make a choice to pull our mind back to you know I am strong in the Lord and in the power of his might no weapon formed against me will prosper but what I lay my hand to will prosper I'm trusting in the Lord the Lord is my strength and my deliverer when you bring your mind thinking on those good things then it lifts you out of that pit and give you that merry heart that sharing that Shelly was talking about proverbs 17:22 a merry heart does good like what like a medicine but a broken spirit dries the bones in proverbs 1917 he who we're going to change gears here a bit he who has pity on the poor lends to whom lends to the Lord and he will pay back what He has given boy I think that is so powerful and when you again what we're looking at today is mercy on the needy and this says if we see someone that's needy if we take care of that need we're not giving it to them expecting them to give it back to us we're not expecting anybody to give anything back to us but well you know what we do we set into motion a biblical principle and that biblical principle says as you blend to the needy that who's going to pay you back God's gonna pay you back so I want to read Matthew 25 let me go there Matthew 25:34 340 that's a lot of Scripture but I think it's worth reading then the king will say to those on his right hand come you blessed of my father inherit the kingdom prepared for you for the from the foundation of the world and I know we've used the scripture I think already once today it says for I was hungry and you gave me food I was thirsty and you gave me drink I was a stranger and you took me in I was naked and you clothed me and the righteous say when did we do this we don't recall doing that to you Lord what does the Lord say when you've done it unto the least the least of these who have you done it unto you've done it unto him okay proverbs 14 31 he who oppresses the poor reproaches his maker but he who honors him has mercy on the needy and that's what we're looking at having mercy on the needy we we just don't know the circumstances of the poor and the needy and if we look at their circumstances and think and feel superior to them then we are reproaching our maker my encouragement for every one of us today is that we just ask God to open our hearts and tsofen soften our hearts show us those that we need to be helping and then allow the Lord to use you to be a blessing to those who are in need around you I have enjoyed so much each one of your presentations let's take a moment for a quick closing call right yeah sure so this particular lesson just makes me think of Revelation the ending chapters of Revelation those I just I just felt like shouting with the multitude and the times that we're living in Alleluia the Lord God Almighty the Lord our God omnipotent reigns I mean we know that he reigns and he's in control but even the discussion of this particular topic draws my attention to revelation 22 verse 20 which says he who testifies of these things says surely I am coming quickly Amen even so come Lord Jesus Christ and I'm saying Lord Jesus Christ I'm ready to go home mark 1:17 to be an effective leader you have to have a plan here's the plan follow me and I will make you you cannot make yourself you have to follow the one who alone is able to make us follow the Lord and he will make you what he intends for you to become a man praise is not for God it's not something we do for him praise is for you and for me it changes us in our outlook and some 1:46 there were some serious situations that they were dealing with but yet in the midst of that they chose to praise God Amen and we are to show grace and mercy to those that are in need we can't be superior or look down a judgmental nose at those around us the alcoholic didn't say when he was young you know someday what I aspire to be is an alcohol alcoholic in a gutter the lady of your repute didn't say someday you know what I want to do I want to sell my body for drugs and be treated with degradation we don't know the circumstances so we can't be judgmental what we can be is obedient to God and show them grace and mercy Amen thank you each so much for the study the amount of time that you put in to prepare these studies you know for those of you at home we just want you to know you may be feeling oppressed you may be feeling neglected or overlooked or somebody has slandered you you may be going through some kind of trial but you have the Prince of Peace on your side he is ready to come to you at a moment's cry and you can look to him he is the champion of the helpless and I pray that your heart will be filled and just overflow with hope that eager expectation that God will show up our prayer for you is that the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the love of the Father and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be with you always you