Dedicated to Deacon John
Updated: May 3, 2020
From the Desk of the Pastor
Let's continue to pray for one another. This is of course a difficult time that we are in the midst of. We continue in prayer for the entire world, nation and especially those health care professionals, first responders and those in those essential need positions that must confront not only the essential work that needs to be done but the health risks they must confront each day. We pray for this body of Christ that we seek the protection
"Prayer for Protection"
The Light of God surrounds me. The Love of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The Presence of God watches over me. The Mind of God guides me. The Life of God flows through me. The Laws of God direct me. The Power of God abides within me. The Joy of God uplifts me. The Strength of God renews me. The Beauty of God inspires me. Wherever I am, God is!
By the grace of God may the family and friends be uplifted during this difficult time.
Services continue to be temporarily cancelled as we abide by the policies of the State and local authorities Stay at Home Order to not congregate with more than 10 people now extended through May 15th. The services at Citizen of Zion pastors anniversary (fourth Sunday in April) are postponed to a later date.
We thank God for the turnout for the “Drive-Through Communion” on Easter Sunday April 12th. Our plan is to once again have a Drive-Through Communion on first Sunday May 3rd, once again from 10am to 12pm.
Finally, what can we do as a body of Christ during this time that we are experiencing this physical distancing from each other.
Continue Reaching Out to One Another – Calls, Emails, texting messages
Continue praying for one another
Certainly an Opportune Time to Read Scripture and Christian literature
MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU!! BE SAFE! BE WELL!
City of LA Doubles Emergency Senior Meals Response Program
The Mayor of LA expanded an Emergency Meal Program for Seniors Wednesday so that more they can stay at home safely but also receive meals.
Beginning Thursday, about 12,000 seniors across Los Angeles will get FREE MEALS because there was more demand for the service.
The city's Department of Aging doubled its Emergency Senior Meals Response program, which was created by Mayor Garcetti and funded through the Mayor's Fund of Los Angeles.
Through a partnership with Everytable and Access Services, the Department of Aging and the Mayor’s Office will provide 10 meals a week to 7,280 new seniors.
About 5,000 low-income seniors were already being provided with meals through the Department of Aging and the city of LA will also double the number of meals for them.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says so many people called, inquiring about the program when it began that there was a need to expand.
Seniors or their caregivers can sign up for the meal program by calling the Emergency Senior Meals Response Hotline at (213) 263-5226, Monday - Sunday (9am - 5pm).
To qualify, you have to be age 60 or older, be an LA resident and not be enrolled in other meal programs.
If you have trouble getting through on the phone, use this form:
HOPE IN THE MIDST OF YOUR BATTLES
My favorite scripture is the 27th number of Psalms. It is a great message to us and in this time in which we live it provides hope in the midst of our battles. David clearly expresses his confidence and trust in the Lord.
As we read the words of this psalm, I see the imagery of battle being portrayed in these verses. Words like “enemies” and “foes” in verse 2; “host” in verse 3; “war” in verse 3; and “enemies” in verse 6 all speak of warfare. It appears that David is in a difficult situation. Yet, it is also very clear from reading these verses that even in the midst of the battles he is fighting, David still has hope.
Hope is a powerful thing. G. K. Chesterton said, “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.”
Here is how the dictionary describes hope. “to have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely.” Hope, from the world’s viewpoint is just what that definition describes. The world sees hope as a wish or a desire. Hope, for the world, is a longing for something that may or may not take place.
The Bible teaches us a vastly different definition of hope. Listen to the words of Jeremiah, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is,”Jer. 17:7. Hear also Paul, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity,”1 Cor. 13:13. The world says that hope is merely a fond wish or desire. But, the words used for hope in the Bible tell a different story. They teach us that hope is “A deep settled confidence that God will keep His promises!”
We all have battles; but do you have hope? Are you resting in the sure confidence that God will do just as He has promised He would? That is the essence of hope and hope is a possession we all need to be sure we own in large quantities.
In the great hymn the Solid Rock, it begins with MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS THAN JESUS CHRIST MY RIGHTEOUSNESS.
I. v. 1-3 OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD PROVIDES HOPE
Notice the three-fold use of the word “my” inverse 1. David has a personal relationship with God. This is the basic foundation for hope.
A. v. 1 Confidence In The Person Of The Lord
David tells us that God is his “light”, his “salvation” and his “strength.” There is a tremendous blessing in these three titles attributed to our God.
As Light, God delivers His people from Darkness - Look at I Peter 2:9 –he hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light
As Salvation God delivers His people from Damnation – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life,” John 5:24.
As Strength God delivers His people from Defeat – “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. 15:57.
These three great characteristics of God serve to give us hope even in the midst of battle! Because of Who our God is, we need not fear any enemy that should arise against us. We should praise HIM for who HE is.
We know that there some that have the ability to do something but when it is time to perform they fall short. They don’t come through but let's consider our Lord’s performance
B. v. 2-3 Confidence In The Performance Of The Lord
David declares that his present hope in the Lord rests upon that which the Lord has done for him in the past. God did not fail him then, and He will not fail His child today.
That same confidence is ours today! The God we serve is unchangeable, Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8. He is the same God with the same power that He has always been. He has never, and He will never change. Because He has been faithful in the past, we can count on His being faithful now.
You don’t have to think about David but what he has done for YOU
(Ill. Think of all the things He has done; the victories He has won; the enemies He has vanquished; the mountains He has moved; the victories He has won. Think on these things and remember that the God who performed countless wonders in the past is still that same God today! That should give His people hope!)
II. v. 4 OUR COMMITMENT TO THE LORD PROVIDES HOPE
David mentions three goals in this verse. These three goals all arise from a single commitment to serve the Lord faithfully from a heart of love. Notice how David’s commitment to the Lord manifests itself.)
A. He Is Committed To Lingering Near The Lord
David wants to spend his entire life in the house of the Lord. He wants to be in that place where the Lord dwells and where the Lord’s presence is real. This is a theme David repeated in Psalm 84:1-4. There, David envies the little birds that make their nests around the tabernacle. They can be near the house of God all the time, while David cannot. He has a desire to be where God is; to be in that place where God is worshiped and honored. That is his heartbeat.
That ought to be our desire as well. We need that same passion to be where the Lord is honored and where He is worshiped. Of course, we have the church and we are commanded to be in attendance, Heb. 10:25. But, in times like today there ought to be a desire to find that place of closeness and intimacy with the Lord. So when we can’t get too church we need to have that closeness with the Lord.
If there is a genuine desire to be near Him, it will manifest itself in clear action. There will be a commitment to prayer and to the study of the Word of God. There will be a commitment to public and private worship. Those who want to linger near the Lord will find a way. And, when we make a move toward Him, He will make a move toward us, James 4:8. – Draw near to the Lord and he will draw near to you.
B. He Is Committed To Loving The Lord
David wants to “behold the beauty of the Lord.” That is, he wants to “seek His face.” You see, not only is David committed to being where the Lord is; but he is also committed to worshiping the Lord. That is a worthy goal for life! This should be the goal of every believer as well. If we are going to worship the Lord, we are going to have to do it His way. Jesus told us how to worship inJohn 4:24. As we yield to the Spirit of God and worship God for Who He is as He is revealed in the Word of God, we will be engaged in the business of loving Him. How long has it been since you just loved on the Lord?
C. He Is Committed To Leaning On The Lord
David also expresses his desire to call upon the Lord; to commune with God; and to make requests of God. This is another image of worship. David here declares his utter dependence upon the Lord for the necessities of life. David looks beyond his own abilities and sees the limitless provisions of the Lord. Therefore, he wants nothing more than to be able to call upon the Lord Jer. 33:3; Matt. 11:28. We are promised that God will hear and answer our prayers, Isa. 65:24; John 14:13-14; John 16:23-24. Therefore, let us also learn to lean upon Him! Instead of worry and fear, let us learn to turn to the Lord. He will see to our needs, Phil. 4:6-7; 19. He will never fail us nor will He ever turn us away empty-handed, Matt. 7:7-11.
III. v. 5-6 OUR COMFORT IN THE LORD PROVIDES HOPE
A. v. 5 God Has A Sheltered In Place For Us
We are being told now to shelter in place. This may sound familiar to those who know the Bible, A similar order was given in Egypt many years ago as the Hebrews sheltered in place as the death angel passed over them. David tells us that the Lord will hide him in His pavilion. A king’s pavilion was a tent that erected in the middle of the army’s encampment. The tent was then surrounded by an army of brave soldiers. With all the host of the army camped about, the king’s pavilion was the safest place on the battlefield. Those who were fortunate enough to be allowed to enter the king’s pavilion were protected by the soldiers and entertained by the king during the battle.
As the battles of life rage about us, we are safely tucked away in our King’s pavilion. The Bible tells us that “your life is hid with Christ in God”,Col. 3:3! Could there be a safer place in all the universe? Of course not! Those who have entered His pavilion are protected by Him and, even while the battles rage around them, they are entertained with the peace and joy of the King Himself. This is promise to those who will abide in that close place! No enemy can penetrate the defenses and enter this private place. It is protected from the enemy!
The assurance of His sheltering place allows us to weather the storms of life with hope. This was what allowed David to face Goliath. This was the confidence that kept Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in a fiery furnace and Daniel in a lions den. This was the knowledge that allowed Paul to continue, even when he suffered greatly, 2 Cor. 12:7-11.
B . v. 5-6a God Has A Secure Place For Us
David has the assurance that even when life threatens to overflow him, the Lord will set him on a rock, a place that is unchangeable, powerful and immovable. Of course, this Rock he refers to is none other than the Lord Himself, Psa. 40:1-2. The rock referred to in these verses is a “great craggy rock”. It is a rock that juts far above the battles going on at its feet. It allows those who ride its heights to rise far above the tumult beneath!
This is the gift to all those who know Him! We are promised that we have a place of refuge that will lift us far above the stormy seas that would threaten to drown us. Like the eagle, who takes refuge above the storm until it has passed; those who abide in Him are given grace that bears them higher than the storms and keeps them safe until danger has passed,Isa. 40:31. Those who wish to rise above there circumstances are given wings to do so!
C. v. 6b God Has A Special Place For Us
David says that he will worship the Lord; he will praise the Lord; because of the things the Lord has done for him. Because the Lord has lifted him above the battles; because the Lord has hidden him away in the secret place; because the Lord sheltered him away from the terrors of the battles; he will praise His name!
What a lesson to us! When hope has turned to reality in our lives; when the Lord has come through for us again and delivered us from the enemy; we should be quick to praise Him and offer to Him the worship and adoration He deserves. When He brings us through our battles, He will put us in a special place from which we can exalt His lovely Name, Heb. 13:15!
Conc: Are you fighting some battles today? Of course you are! But, in the midst of your battles, do you have hope? Do you have the deep settled confidence that everything is going to be alright? If you do praise the Lord, for He has already brought to that special place of blessing from which you can offer praise to His name.
But, if you lack that hope this evening, it can be obtained. How? You can do this by Reaffirming your Confidence in the Lord; by Renewing your Commitment to the Lord; and by Resting in your Comfort in the Lord. Do you need to talk to Him about your battles and about your hope? Then just take it to the Lord and leave it there.
COGIC Mass Choir "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand"
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.
Some say that the sky is at it’s darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.
I pray to be filled with your light from head to toe. To bask in your glory.
To know that all is right in the world, as you have planned, and as you want it to be.
Help me to walk in your light, and live my life in faith and glory.
In your name I pray, Amen.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL WATCH FOR THE WORK OF GOD
BE ATTENTIVE TO HIS CALL IN OUR OWN LIVES
KEEP GIVING HIM PRAISE EVEN IN THIS SEASON
In this time of crisis, please continue to give online or by sending checks to the church address: 1404 West 96th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047 We are still faithful that more members will give more faithfully in 2020 so we can accomplish more in building the body of Christ in 2020.
The Bible teaches that giving financially to the work of the Lord is a vital part of being a follower of Christ.
Holy Light Missionary Baptist Church offers online giving to help you with your regular, Tithes and Offerings to Holy Light Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, CA.