1 Corinthians 1:1-9
God is always present even if we donít feel like He is.
Spiritually, He is invisibly connected to us much in the same way that our smart phones, telephones, and internet pages and images are connected and present when we reach out to them or search for them, and we are like all of these little things connected to God.
God is always present even when we blind ourselves to His presence because of all the corrupt and ungodly things that surround us and all too often become part of our lives.
And, sometimes people may not want to believe that God is always present because they donít want Him to know about what they are doing, but God always knows the truth.
The writer of Psalm 40:1-11 recognizes the fact that God is always present; note what he wroteÖ
1. I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
God does always hear, but we may not always want to know His answer particularly when it is not the answer we want.
2. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay;
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
God does do this, particularly when we are truly seeking to live in His heavenly will, but then there are times when God will allow us to be swallowed up by the evil that surrounds us, and we die in the process.
Do we trust Godís decision enough to accept it, as Jesus did?
3. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
We need to remember that this can happen before our earthly death as well as after it.
4. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
We hope we all notice how the word ďtrustĒ has been worked into this psalm, because unless we trust God, we most likely will not be able to understand Godís ways and accept them.
5. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done,
And Thy thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with Thee;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
All we have to do is look around us; itís all part of Godís creation: every human being, every animal, every plant, every tree, and every other aspect of Godís creation, they are all wonders that God has done.
Do we thank God for the water that comes out of our taps, or the air we breathe?
If we donít, we should, and it should also encourage us to help protect the whole of Godís creation.
Lest we forget that God is always present and weeps at the way humans have corrupted His beautiful creation, for which I strongly believe we will be held accountable.
6. Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired;
My ears Thou hast opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.
This is one of the most important verses in the Bible for it tells us that all the ritualized sacrificial offerings in the Bible never came from God, but from the earthly priests.
God wants our obedience and not our sacrifices; He wants our unconditional love for Him and the whole of His creation, so that we would live it and protect it.
I often wonder about, when in Davidís life he wrote this psalm, because he sacrificed a lot of animals against Godís will.
The he begins writing about himself.
7. Then I said, "Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me;
Is this knowledge going to his head?
We simply donít know, but David certainly did a lot of things against the will of God, even though he repented afterward.
8. I delight to do Thy will, O my God;
Thy Law is within my heart."
We should be like this too, but we need to remember that Jesus told us that Godís unconditional love fulfills the whole Law, if we live by that love and not the rituals in the Bible.
And a vital part about God is always present is that He also sees the intent of our heart and soul.
9. I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great
Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, Thou knowest.
What we say with our mouths is not important unless we are living in the heavenly will of God, for unless we live the life we speak of, we will not be believed.
10. I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation;
I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.
It sounds like the writer of this psalm knows the truth, but we need to live it every day of our lives.
11. Thou, O LORD, wilt not withhold Thy compassion from me;
Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me.
David is certainly remembered, but we need to also remember that God considered him unworthy to build the Temple because of all the blood on his hands.
How does God see us?
This is something that each and every one of us must ask ourselves.
Letís continue to think about the fact that God is always present as we look at John 1:29-42Ö
29. The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John the Baptist recognizes Jesus as Messiah, for only God can take away the sin of the world.
We each may be able to remove most of the sin from our own lives, but because of the immense sin in the world around us we cannot remove it all, and when we look around the world, we see that most people seem to want to live in the ways of this corrupt world.
And, God is always present and sees it all.
30. "This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'
Some people thought that John was the Messiah, and here he makes it clear that he is not, and that Jesus is.
31. "And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water."
John is referring to his ministry of calling people to repentance, but as he said, Jesus has the power to take away the sin of the world.
And I consider a large part of the sin of the world to be our violent warring madness and indifference to the suffering of others that causes the suffering and death of millions of humans and billions of animals every year.
32. And John bore witness saying, "I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
33. "And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'
34. "And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
John is letting everyone know, even to this very day, that Jesus is Messiah.
35. Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples,
36. and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
Through Johnís witness of Jesus Christ, others believed in Him and followed Him.
37. And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38. And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to Him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?"
This may seem like an odd way to respond, but they wanted to be in His presence, just as we all should feel and act.
39. He said to them, "Come, and you will see." They came therefore and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
40. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
And then Andrew bore witness of Him, just as we should be doing through both our lifestyles and words.
41. He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ).
42. He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "You are
Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated
Both names mean ďrock.Ē
We may not be outspoken evangelists like Paul as he writes in 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, but we all are called to live the peacemaking life that Jesus taught us.
1. Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2. to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
Not everyone who was in Corinth was an evangelist like Paul, but as I mentioned above, they were all called to live the life of Christ, and we need to do the same thing, but not just because God is always present, but because we love the Lord and truly desire to live the way He taught us.
3. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
5. that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,
6. even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,
In other words, Jesus Christ could be seen in them, just as we hope and pray that people say the same things about you.
7. so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8. who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I like to hope that we all would be considered this way, when the Lord returns, or at the very least be acceptable in His sight, for we live a lifestyle that reflects the heavenly will of God, and no longer desire the corrupt things and ways of this world.
9. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His
Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
God knows who we are, for God is always present.
We need to reject the violent ways of this world that kills millions of humans and billions of animals every year, and this means that we neither consume or use any of the products of this cruelty and indifference, which includes eating and wearing of animal products.