Summary: This is the beginning of a short series on Accessing God - this first sermon deals with Accessing God through His Holy Word
Series: Accessing God
Sermon #1 - Accessing God through His Word
Sermon #2 - Accessing God's Will
Sermon #3 - Accessing God's Wisdom
Sermon #1 - Want God ? Read the Word!
Have you ever been denied access? Whether it is to go through a gate, get on your Facebook page, download your emails, get some money out of the ATM or watch a TV show/movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime? It can happen when you use your smart phone or want to access a certain app. You put in what you think is all the correct information and suddenly the screen pops up and says something to this effect - "Access denied" "Authorization code needed" " Further Verification needed" "Sorry, you do not have permission to access this account, page or file" "Forget your password?"
I think we all have at one time or the other experienced a similar event. It can be quite embarrassing, especially if we are in line at the store and suddenly we forget our pin number and we cannot access our debt card. People begin to look at us like we are either losing it or we have stolen someone else's card and are trying to use it illegally.
We live in a world in which more and more we need a special key, word or code. And who doesn't like punching in those 16 digit codes on the back of a gift card to find out how much money is still available? All you have to do is to hit one wrong key and you have to start all over again. At times, we may wish that could just hack into the system and not have to worry about having the right login name, password or code.
The Psalmist this morning deepest desire is to access the heart of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Psalm 119 is one of about a dozen alphabetic acrostic poems* in the Bible. It's 176 verses are divided into twenty-two stanzas, one stanza for each letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. Each stanza then contains eight verses that begins (in Hebrew) with a corresponding letter. We also see that the name of the LORD appears 24 times in Psalm 119. And while the author does not share their name, most Bible scholars believe that Psalm 119 comes from the hand of King David.
In this last section ( called the Tau section) we see that David is desperately seeking access to the LORD. He has spend 168 verses sharing with us all kinds of lessons, praises and blessings. And now as the author closes this psalm his heart is crying out for some type of deep intimate access. David cries out for God to hear him, to give him wisdom and to be his Divine helper so that he will make the right choices in his life. David cries out with this intense spiritual thirst and with this deep longing to live an upright and holy life. He takes great pains confessing his spiritual frailties and then commits himself to never give up on both knowing and living out God's Commandments.
What David longed for is something this morning that the Apostle Paul tells us is right at our fingertips, that is - the ability to have complete access to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:18 that we have access to both our Heavenly Father and to His Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ - God in Flesh.
Ephesians 2:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Take a moment and let that sink in. This morning, we have access to the Trinity through the Son - God in Flesh - Jesus of Nazareth - who came and lived among us, died for us and rose again and today sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you and me.
In other words when it comes to having a special code or access password for God - we have it - it is J E S U S. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is the Door. Jesus is the Living Water and the Living Bread. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus is the way for anyone to experience Salvation, New Birth and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. There is no other name under heaven by which we may be rescued and redeemed. Jesus is the Access Key to Everything.
The Bible shares with us that because of Jesus we also have access to some other things as well. This morning, I would like to share the first of those other things. Something that will help us live not only a more genuine life here on this earth but will help us understand God and have access to His Very Presence.