Summary: Discover three reasons and ways you and I can be confident in life.
This being the fourth Sunday of the month, we will look at one of the nine characteristics of a successful participant in fulfilling the mission of our church. The mission of our church is to help more and more English-speaking Asians in our community to have a right and healthy relationship with God and with one another through Jesus Christ. And the characteristic we will look at this morning is that of living by the authority of God’s Word, the Bible.
When I say the Bible is God’s Word, I’m describing at least three ways the Bible contains God’s communication to us. First, the Bible contains God’s dictation. For instance, the 10 Commandments recorded in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 are the words from God Himself.
Second, the Bible contains God’s revelation, those truths and events that we cannot know, except that God revealed them. For instance, happenings in Heaven are revealed in Job 1, and happenings in the future are reveled in Revelation 21.
Third, the Bible contains God’s inspiration, the writing by men as guided by God’s Spirit. For instance, the letters of Paul, Peter and John have truths and instructions from God that are written by men as taught by God’s Spirit.
The question is sometimes asked, "Why did God use men to write and compile His thoughts and instructions to mankind?" The answer is, "Because God wanted to communicate to mankind. After all, God uses mother birds to communicate to baby birds. Why would He not use mankind to communicate to the children of mankind?"
What God communicated to us has numerous benefits. This morning we will look at one benefit of knowing and living by God’s Word. The benefit is confident living.
If I were to ask for a show of hands to reflect how many people experience confidence all the time in all situations, I would probably not see a single hand up. As a campus minister at UC Davis, I worked with some very smart and good-looking college students. Even the smartest and best-looking students are frequently unsure of themselves.
We know that business leaders and other successful professionals also need confidence, because books on leadership and programs for personal success almost always contain ways to build confidence. We are encouraged to repeat self-affirmations such as "I believe I can."
Others instruct us to operate on our greatest strength. Still others tell us that confidence comes from relating skillfully with others or looking at our past accomplishments. And there is the admonition to "act confident and you will be confident." Smile, give a firm handshake and look them in the eyes.
Confidence is very important to all of us. Without confidence, we will procrastinate and miss out on life’s opportunities. Without confidence, we can be overwhelmed with anxiety rather than filled with peace. Without confidence, we are prone to make more mistake more often or give up too early.
No one, whether young or old, wealthy or poor, male or femail, feel, act or think confidently all the time. This morning we will learn why and how we can experience confidence in life more often. The text comes from Psalm 19.
The Psalm writer tells of three sources that God gives to us for confident living. The first is God’s platform, the universe in which we live. The second is God’s prudence, the wisdom, instructions and truths by which we ought to live. The third is God’s pardon, the forgiveness by which we can have peace with God.
Let’s look at each one in detail and see why and how they enable us to experience confidence in living.
First, we can have confidence in our lives because God’s platform demonstrates God’s power. We see this in verses 1-6.
Erwin Lutzer said, "In creation, God went public." Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
God’s universe in which we live is also God’s platform from which we can know God. The telescope allows us to see the vastness of God’s creation. The microscope allows us to see the design of God’s creation. The enormity and complexity of creation declares God’s tremendous power.
There is no sufficient explanation apart from a Creator for the tremendous amount of matter in our universe to come from nothing. There is no sufficient explanation apart from a Creator for the complexity and design in our universe to come from random chance. If we would just consider how the relationship between the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars to allow for the prediction of an eclipse hundreds of years in advance, we would begin to recognize the great order with which God created rather than the random chance in which evolution proposes.
Back in 1990, I was a teacher’s aide in a math class at a middle school in Woodland, California. The teacher not only loved to teach math, but he loved to teach students. His students loved him, because he made learning fun, and he cared for the students.