Graeme Taylor - Olympia II, Washington Convention - 2018

We’ve been taught from children to say,  "Thank you" – acknowledge that it’s the kindness of others that is giving us what we need. Maybe there are many things God has done that we aren’t aware of, but we can be thankful for so many things that we can understand that God does for us, and for our soul. His love is toward us! There is an appreciation we can have! If God just forgave our sins – gave us strength and comfort every time we wanted it – would we really be thankful for it, and have an understanding of it?

Psalms 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

“I waited patiently.” I wondered what he was waiting for? Sometimes God leaves us in the pit long enough that we never want to go back! We realize how foolish we are! We realize that His thoughts and Ways are so much greater than ours! We’ve all had times like that in the pit but how often have we gone back there? God teaches us. His love and provision for us is so good and right. He doesn’t want to see us fail! So, when we’ve been patiently waiting for God – waiting for Him to draw near and do what only He can do for us – He brought me up out of a horrible pit. How many lessons do we learn, and then we get into an experience and realize, “I haven’t really learned as I should have! Lord help me again! Show me!”

Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” This is simple instruction! Our purpose and profession are that we want to serve God and His Son, Jesus. Whenever there is something in us that we are aware of that our Master wants of us right now – and yet, there is another master, our own nature, that wants to be in control! God is aware of how it works! He created us. He didn’t give us that nature for an excuse, but so we could prove we love Him more than anything else. “You cannot serve God and mammon!”

The Pharisees who were covetous mocked Jesus. They were saying, “We can do both!” “We know more about serving God than this Man does!” They had a spirit in their heart that lifted themselves rather than Jesus, in their own heart. Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and mammon!” They were trying to do enough to satisfy God, and yet, claim the things of the world too, and please themselves. There are times we need to hear the Word of God again. Jesus is our Master. I wonder if sometimes my attitude is, “I’m the Master, and God is the servant!” We get in some places we never wanted to be – it’s a direct result of our choices.

“Here we are God – fix this problem!” I’d get a clearer picture of the greatness of God. He loves us and wants to share with us today. This is what we need. What is our heart response, “This is God’s job?” There were people who derided Jesus – it showed in their attitudes, words, and actions. Without the help and power of God and what He has provided for us, we are nothing and can’t enter into the Plan of God for us – if we’re not fitting into the Will of God!

Jesus said to some, “Ye are those who justify yourselves before men.” “But, I’m doing this because I have needs for myself!” But we can’t justify ourselves before God. “I failed today because someone else didn’t respect me!” It doesn’t work, does it? God knows your hearts! God knows the wrong. Self-justification is there!

It’s also a wonderful thing when we’re struggling, and we know we must serve God. We think of all the things He’s done for us – it changes our thoughts and actions! He knows we want to draw close to Him. God knows your heart.

“For that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God!" People do certain things, and accept praise from all around them. Others would like to be more like them. If we honor a certain person honor what they do, we make ourselves more like them. Is it too much of God to ask us to do that with Jesus? We’d like to be like Him! We’d like to have more love in our hearts to truly worship Him!
That word “abomination” is a strange, frightening word, to be so detestable to God! When it’s an abomination to God, why is it that we still want to crave it, and lean towards it? I need to love God more, and love God with all my mind, heart, soul, and strength.

Revelations 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” It is speaking about the New Jerusalem – so wonderful! Nothing about what I want or think shall enter into it – nothing that defiles, or works abomination (it’s the things highly esteemed among men). When I start thinking, “Well, everyone in the world thinks it’s OK”, I don’t have the final say! God does. It’s so plain and complete! There are no loop holes! There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth! Only those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

There’s the one thing we can do – acknowledge Jesus – thanking Him, worshipping Him, being made acceptable in the shed blood of Jesus with true repentance, pleading again that God would forgive us – because Jesus died for me. The bowing down of self – “I only have this because Christ died for me” – it’s going to affect the thoughts I think, the words I speak, and the things I do!

Proverbs 6:16, “These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

1) A proud look

2) A lying tongue – we know God knows all about us. He knows things I have thought, the spirit I had. If there is a conviction that there’s something wrong, do we justify it? He knows all about us!

3) Hands that shed innocent blood – perhaps we’ve never been guilty of murder, but things we’ve done could rob someone of spiritual life, and kept them from getting help!

4) A heart that devises wicked imaginations

5) Feet that be swift in running to mischief – no respect or fear of God that would stop us from being there!

6) A false witness that speaks lies – would we accuse our brother or sister of something just because it brought restraint upon us?

7) He that soweth discord among brethren – human nature is still the same. I think someone did something that wasn’t good and right! But what I don’t know about them, maybe God has smitten them about it, and they’ve already repented and gone to God for help for it. If we honor flesh, and give it any say, it gets it all wrong!

1) A face
2) A tongue
3) Hands
4) A heart
5) Feet

The tongue we can use for so much wrong, or we can use it to say, "Thank you." Most fruit has a seed in itself. So if you have the fruit of love in your life, and it’s shared with another, they partake of it, and there are seeds in it that they can use to bring forth fruit in their life! We’re thankful God is so patient, and that the blood of Jesus can cleanse us and take away all our wrong. It leaves us understanding - we need more of Jesus!