Grace Baptist Church of Danville
December 26, 2010
Any sermon that does not have Christ crucified for its beginning, its middle, and its end is a mistake in its conception and a crime in its execution.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Matthew Rice-27th Marilyn Sadler-31st Sammy Wall-1st
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Charlotte and Merle Hart-10th
CHURCH CLEANING IN JANUARY: Jim and Susan Grant
NURSERY DUTY THIS WEEK
Today: Vicci Rolley (AM) Celeste Peterson (PM) Tuesday: Jayalita McCormack
Consider Now Your Ways — Don Fortner
(Tune: #52 — Majestic Sweetness — CM)
1. God’s charge is clear, (My soul attend!),
“Consider now your ways.”
Another year is at an end;
Come view your fleeting days.
2. Twelve months have run their rapid round!
How fleeting they appear!
How God has made His grace abound
To crown the passing year!
3. What showers of blessings I’ve received!
How fruitless I have stood!
Still, though I have my Father grieved,
He views my Surety’s blood!
4. The voice of Justice says, “cut down
That barren, withered tree;”
But Christ says, “let it still alone,
Be satisfied in me.”
Happy New Year!
Looking over the days gone by, we have much to lament, of sin, ingratitude, and unbelief. We have all experienced sorrow, pain, and loss. These things will, without question, also accompany the days our God may give us in the year to come. Yet, we always anticipate the dawn of the New Year with joy, wishing one another a “Happy New Year!” — Why? With us this is not just an empty wish for joy. Rather, it is the confident knowledge that every rising sun brings with it God’s blessing upon the lives of his elect. What those blessings shall be, we cannot know; but God’s providence is our blessedness, our happiness. So this is not a wish, but a prophecy for you who are God’s: — Happy New Year!
“Consider Your Ways!”
“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages [to put it] into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”
The Lord Jesus has saved us by his grace that we might be his witnesses unto all men. He has redeemed us with his blood that we might proclaim redemption everywhere. He has sent us forth into this world for the building of his house (the church), the ingathering of his sheep, to build his kingdom. He has provided us with everything needful for the work. And we take what he puts in our hands (time, talent, money and life) and devote it to our own pleasure! We are alive to everything else, excited about everything else, and devote ourselves to everything else except the cause of Christ in our day! — “Consider your ways!”
“Consider your ways!” — What do we get for our love of the world, for our devotion to it? We eat like kings, and never have enough. We drink and gorge ourselves, and remain hungry and thirsty. We buy the finest clothes money can buy, and want more. We save our money and can never save enough, putting it “into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6). We run every man after his own things, looking for much, and it comes to little, because God blows it away. Why? Because God’s house, God’s cause, God’s worship is despised and neglected (Haggai 1:7). We crave satisfaction, but seeking it in the things of the world, we find nothing but drought in our souls (Haggai 1:10-11).
“Consider your ways!”— The Lord God, our heavenly Father dampens our enjoyments, and tinges them with sorrow to expose our evil, to get our attention, to draw our hearts away from the world and remind us of bounteous blessings of his grace upon us, to bring our hearts home to Christ. — “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world!” (Hebrews 12:5-13; Colossians 3:1-3)
We should use worldly things as wise pilgrims like staves to help us make our journey through this world. So long as they help us forward in our way, we should make use of them and value them accordingly. But when they become troublesome hindrances and cumbersome burdens, we would be wise to throw them away. Samuel Rutherford warned, “Do not build your nest in any of the trees of this forest. They are all marked to be burned.”
We will have that upon which we set our hearts; but there is something better to set your heart on than this world. — Christ is better! — “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Consider Your God
In Haggai the Lord tells us to consider our ways. Here in Luke 12:24-27 he tells us not only to consider our ways, but to consider him. Our Savior here calls us away from the care of the world to faith in our God, calling us to honor God by believing him. He does so by pointing out some things that ought to be obvious to every kindergarten child. They may seem to be simple, insignificant, almost trivial lessons to carnal minds; but after studying this Book every day for the past 44 years, after reading hundreds of volumes of theology, I find the things mentioned in this passage to be matters of deepest importance. The more I ponder them, the weightier they become. The more I study them, the more profound they appear. Here is the “strong meat” of the Word of God.
Consider the ravens. — “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” (v. 24) If God Almighty condescends to provide for the needs of a bird, a raven at that, if he orders the affairs of providence to give the ravens their daily food, is it reasonable for us to ever imagine that he might fail to provide for us?
Consider yourself. — “And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?” (v. 25) The word here translated “stature” should probably be translated “life,” or “age,” as it is in John 9:21 and 23 and Hebrews 11:11. What our Lord is saying here is that none of us can, by any means, add one bit to the height of our frames, the maturity of our years, or the days of our lives.
Consider the lilies. — “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (vv. 27-28) If the Lord God every year provides the lilies with fresh foliage and fresh blooms, how absurd it is for us to imagine that he might fail to clothe us today, or tomorrow.
Consider the heathen. — “For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things” (v. 30). What a shame it is for God’s people to grovel like the heathen of this world after the things of the world. If God is my Father and Christ my Savior and the Holy Spirit my Comforter, if heaven is my home and eternity is the span of my life, I ought not find it difficult to live above the cares of and anxieties of the heathen. Faith in Christ ought to make my heart light. The light of eternity ought to make the things of earth grow dim. Heavenly glory ought to make the baubles of earth utterly insignificant to me.
Consider your Father. — “Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things” (v. 30). This fact alone ought to make us perfectly content. All our needs in this world are perfectly known to our Father, the Lord of heaven and earth. He can relieve our needs whenever he sees fit; and he will relieve our needs whenever it is best for us that they be relieved. He who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up to death to ransom our souls, he who gave us his darling Son will not fail to give us everything we need (Romans 8:32). May he teach us to trust him implicitly!
The Grace Bulletin
December 26, 2010
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail email@example.com
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Television Broadcasts in Harrodsburg
Channel 6 - Sunday Afternoon 3:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com