Hagerstown Christian Church Hagerstown Christian Church

JUST THINKIN'

“ Just Thinkin’ “

July 2nd, 2020

 

Over the years… I’ve had the opportunity to shoot guns with my boys multiple times. Whether it was shooting an AR-15 with Bryce out at “Father’s Weekend” when he was at college out at Ohio University. A friend in his ROTC units family lived close by & they invited us to come shoot with them. Or, when our whole family went shooting up at a range located at Green Ridge in western MD. And then there’s the time all 3 of us guys (me, Bryce, Spencer) got a chance to shoot clay birds… & then a .50 caliber military style rifle in Kentucky while visiting family over Thanksgiving. Oh, and the time Spencer & I went to Frederick to range shoot in an indoor range called “The Machine Gun Nest”. ( Isn’t that a cool, “want to make you grunt” name for a shooting range! )   Here, we could pay to shoot an array of any gun they had there at the range. We shot multiple guns - very fun - but you’d have to ask Spencer what they all were... my memory fails me! ?

 

I sure hope this doesn’t “scare you about my family & I” !  ?  In fact, there are many other times we’ve been shooting… but the above mentioned have some of the more memorable times. Today though, I’m just using the experience of leisure shooting… to focus on a tool that is needed for our own protection when taking part in this time of recreation. And… that is the “ear protection”.

 

The ear protection comes in many forms, made of many materials from foam to rubber  - insertable pieces… all the way to headsets to block out the repercussion & loudness of the guns. They are a “lifesaver” when it comes to protecting a shooters hearing. But at the same time… they are a BIG barrier when it comes to wanting to speak to each other while shooting. They muffle, blur and hinder any words or statement ya’ try to have. In fact, for the most part you have to remove them if ya’ wanna’ hear someone speaking to you.

 

Ya’ know, I’m “ just thinkin’ “… what a great analogy (in my goofy mind).  What a GREAT analogy when it comes to reading, understanding & applying Isaiah 40:28 to our walk with our GOD – ALMIGHTY, UNCOMPARABLE, FOREVER FAITHFUL… LOVING… SAVING… GRACIOUS & AMAZING GOD.

 

In our country today, our very fiber of freedom is under attack. Imperfect men & women have helped build this “republic” called the United States of America. They were imperfect because though many are seen as being Christian, they lived under the socially acceptable standards of that day. This does not make this country a “bad” country.

 

And though we’ve never been perfect as a nation of people, we have certainly come out better as a nation through our years of infighting, racism, battles across the seas, rebuilding of nations, large financial & physical help to other nations when in crisis… as well as learning & adjusting to being the leader of nations. Though as true as it is that we are further from GOD today… & our once “ingenious” laws & order of law are watered down, misinterpreted & misused – we are still a good nation per the worlds’ standards. Or maybe not so much anymore in the eyes of others who watch, as well as those within – who are causing so much disorder & disarray in our country. 

 

As we live in our own moral decline & national sins of murder, abortion, sexual deviancy, disunity, immorality in the church, financial debt, lack of discipline upon those who despise & break our laws… & so much more – many nations look upon us & see the disorder, and take advantage of the state of our country. And even more disturbing, is the crumbling of our nation from within.

 

So, as we head into he 4th of July weekend this year… under different & disturbing circumstances, may we once again be encouraged as CITIZENS OF HEAVEN with the words of Isaiah 40, starting with vs. 12:

 

Top of Form

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?

Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
    nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
    To what image will you liken him?
19 As for an idol, a metalworker casts it,
    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
    and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
    selects wood that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
    to set up an idol that will not topple.

 

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?


Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?

 

28 Do you not know?    Have you not heard?


The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

 

Oh church!  Why are we so afraid of what the LORD has for us… that we won’t take off / take out our “ear protection” to hear what HE has for us, wants to do with us… or is wanting to show us?           TAKE IT OFF!

 

Look at again, allow yourself to hear what these words that GOD told the Israelites through Isaiah…

~ I AM all you need ~

~ I AM your only TRUE SOURCE of protection, healing, encouragement, love, ~

satisfaction, direction, wisdom, common sense, provision… LIFE…

THAT YOU CAN EVER HAVE!

 

My friend…

“Do you not know? Have you not heard?”

 

FREEDOM is ringing!  True FREEDOM that comes from the RULER of a greater kingdom - the great kingdom of GOD!  The kingdom you & I really belong too!!!

 

Let’s stop letting the world “muffle” our hearing, our reminder of the great FREEDOM we have in GOD – thru JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!

 

Let FREEDOM ring… in our hearts & lives! 

Happy 4th of July & future “coming forth” of our KING!

Pastor Brad