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Summary: I like the idea of a father who would allow his son to tackle something difficult on his own, but who at the same would make sure to be there if he were needed. Powerpoints available - #379)

MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at MNEWLAND@SSTELCO.COM and request #379.)

TEXT: 1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 139:1-14

ILL. A little boy living up north was looking forward eagerly to the birthday party of his friend who lived only a few blocks away. When the day finally arrived, a snowstorm was making driving hazardous.

But the boy insisted that didn’t matter – he could walk to his friend’s home. And he could do it all by himself. He didn’t need any help. In fact, he didn’t want any help. He was a big boy now.

Still his father hesitated. "But Dad," he pleaded, "all the other kids will be there. Their parents are letting them go.” Finally, the father replied, "All right, if that’s what you really want to do.”

Overjoyed, the boy bundled up for the trip & plunged out into the storm. The swirling snow sometimes made it difficult for him to see, & it took him nearly half an hour of trudging through the snow to get to his friends house.

But finally he was there. He climbed the porch steps, & reached up to ring the doorbell. As he did he turned to look back behind him, & he saw the receding figure of his father who had followed him all the way just to make sure that he arrived safely at his destination.

I like that! I like the idea of a father who would allow his son to tackle something difficult on his own, but who at the same time would make sure to be there if he were needed. I think that’s one of the characteristics of real love.

With that in mind, listen to what the apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:12, "… the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous & His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

I. HIS EYES ARE ON US

And Psalm 139:1-3 says, “O Lord,...you know me. You know when I sit & when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out & my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. …

“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully & wonderfully made…” (Vs’s 13-14)

The writer of that Psalm says that God created us & He knows us. He knows us even better than we know ourselves. And His eyes are upon us!

He is aware of the frustrations that weary us, the dreams we have dared to dream even when everyone else doubted, the fears that trouble us, & the joys that fill our hearts. He knows our disappointments, & the heartaches that have come our way. He knows us, & He loves us!

And in Isaiah 46:4 God says again to His people, “I have made you, & I will carry you; I will sustain you & I will rescue you.”

And in the midst of all that complicates our lives - remember this simple but marvelous truth: "…the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous." And because they are, be assured also that “His ears are attentive to their prayer…"

II. HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO US

ILL. Katie Jones wrote, "One morning I overslept. Then, while rushing around the kitchen, I spilled a glass of orange juice all over the counter. After that, I got stuck behind a slow driver & was late for work.

"When I got to work, it was hectic. The phone was ringing. The computer kept crashing. Customers were waiting. And there was a stack of orders to be filled. I was anxious. So I took a deep breath & said a quick prayer. 'Dear Jesus, please calm me, & help me adjust my attitude.'

"I started ringing up customers in the pharmacy. 'That will be $3.16.' Hmm - $3.16. John 3:16 popped into my mind. Later, I picked up a bottle of medicine. The number 316 was in the stock number. It couldn't be a coincidence. That afternoon, I looked at the clock. It was 3:16. Again, I whispered John 3:16 & thanked Jesus for His grace.

"That crazy morning at the pharmacy changed me. When I asked Jesus to change my attitude, He reminded me that He loved me enough to die for me so that I could have eternal life. I don’t ever want to forget that.

"Now I set my phone alarm for 3:16 p.m. every afternoon. When I see the number 316, I thank Jesus for His love.

"Jesus constantly reminds us to focus on Him. He wants our thoughts anchored in His mercy & grace. He etches His words upon our hearts because He wants us to remember Just how much He loves us.."

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