Sermons
Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Place Your Trust in God - February 18, 2018

Psalm 25:1-13, 20-21

In this season of Lent, we are invited into that kind of intentionality. And as we go along together, we'll be talking about prayer as our touch point...types of prayer...and even different ways to pray. One of the most useful tools for prayer is the psalms. There are 150 different songs and prayers to guide your own prayers. If you've ever thought, "I just don't know how to pray", try the psalms. There are happy psalms and sad psalms. Psalms of distress

and psalms of great praise. And a lot of psalms that have a bit of both.

There's an authenticity about the psalms. If you read them, you'll see they're written by real people with real struggles...both with the world and with God. How many of us struggle with our faith? And how many of us assume or believe that the people in the Bible didn't? That the stories were written about them because they were really faithful and good or they trusted God for all things? The reality is the people of the Bible are incredibly flawed. And their stories include doubt and struggles and hardship. I'm not sure where it was along the way that someone concocted the notion that if you believe in God and follow Jesus that you won't have problems.... but it's simply not true.
The psalms are one of the places we see that. We find faithful people full of struggles. They are afflicted and rejected. Some trust God. Others are full of doubt. Some are desperate to keep trusting. Some are seeing God's handiwork and giving God praise. The psalms are a gift of prayers and songs by real people. Jesus prayed the psalms. On the cross he quoted Psalm 22 when he said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Even Jesus struggled.
Nevertheless, the psalm he quoted doesn't stop with the question, why have you forsaken me? It goes on...illuminating the complexity of believing and doubting....

• O my God, I cry by day but you do not answer...
• Yet you are holy
• our ancestors trusted and you answered
• But I am a worm, scorned by others
• they mock me
• yet you took me from the womb
• you kept me safe at my mother's breast
• Do not be far from me

It goes on for 31 verses...struggle and trust...and a bit of convincing oneself you should trust.
All that's the foundation of our focus today. Our scripture for today is Psalm 25....It's what Pat read for us and I want to highlight just a few of the verses:

Psalm 25:1-13, 20-21

1
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.—my living being puts my trust in you (reminiscent of Genesis)
2
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
4
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6
Remember, Lord, your great mercy, and love,
for they are from of old.
7
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.

forgive my iniquity

20
Guard my life and rescue me;

As I read this it feels like it should be my prayer for each day. It starts with "I trust you, Lord." How many of us start our prayers that way? A profession of faith instead of a request for God to do this or that? What if we started each day with "I trust you, Lord"? It sounds sweet, but a lot of us can't quite get there. Right? Based on what we know of God, or what we think we know of God...we're not sure we can trust God....at least not with everything....right? Don't be shy. You're not the only one. A lot of us struggle to fully trust God. Why? Probably for a variety of reasons. Maybe we've heard that famous phrase "Everything happens for a reason" a little too often. And if everything does happen for a reason....then God must be a real jerk....some kind of cruel hearted fool who enjoys watching people suffer. But what if that phrase wasn't in scripture? What if we didn't have to attribute everything that happens to God? What if the reason some things happen is because we make lousy choices? Or because our neighbor is a jerk...but not God? What if the reason is we live in a broken world and sickness happens...not that God imposes illness on some and not on others...but that cancer and viruses and diseases are simply symptoms of the overarching brokenness, not God-given, but simply a part of the way things are. If God weren't responsible for all the wicked things happening around us...would it be easier to trust God?
What if we encouraged ourselves to trust God until we really could trust God? In the Gospel of Mark there's a story of a boy who regularly has convulsions and falls to the ground, writhing around and foaming at the mouth. Sometimes during his convulsions, he nearly falls into the fire or into water, nearly dying. His father comes to Jesus to ask for help for his son and Jesus says: "Everything is possible for one who believes." And do you know what the father says? He says, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" I do believe. Help my unbelief. He recognizes both his faith and his doubt....I do believe...and I have a few hang-ups....could you help me with those? What if we made a similar proclamation with our faith...God I do trust you....and I struggle a bit with a few things...could you help me with that too? Could we start our prayer that way?

God, I do trust you....and I struggle a bit with a few things...could you help me with that too?

Then we could continue with the prayer of the psalm: Now, don't let me be put to shame....not just....hey, don't make me suffer shame for what I've done, but could you help me live in a way that doesn't bring shame?
Show me your ways, teach me your paths—-in other words, I know that I get distracted and off course...could you show me the path? lead the way? Keep me on course? After all, if you did, I'd be less likely to bring shame on myself...
Then we could keep praying: Guide me in your truth and teach me,—help me to understand. Show me the truth. Not the lies and half-truths others would have me believe, but YOUR truth....help me to keep that in my mind.

for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy, and love,
for they are from of old. of course you remember what you've done—you've shown mercy and love...help me to remember that too. When I'm inclined to doubt you, remind me of all that you've done. Help me to claim you as my God, my savior, and my hope.

Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.

forgive my iniquity

Oh Lord, I've done some stupid things....please don't hold those against me. Love me. Help me to know you love me. Help me to trust you are good and you forgive me. Help me not live with shame, but with freedom from my sins.

Guard my life and rescue me; Go before me today Lord, keep me away from temptation. Protect me from the evils of others. Shine a light on my path, today and every day, Amen.

I wonder what might happen if I prayed that prayer each day....one that reminds me to trust in God, and to ask for help where I can't. One that helps me to focus on God's calling, God's path, and God's truth. One that teaches me God's truth and helps me to believe it above all else. One that calls me to repentance so that I might live better? What if we gave more of ourselves to God? And if we're not quite there....what if we prayed the prayer as, help me to pray this until I become this? Let me be transformed by you and your Word in my life.

Current Church News

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    Trustee work day is Saturday, September 29th from 8:30AM - Noon.

     
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    Pie-ty Sunday will be Sunday, September 23rd. Over the last few years we have enjoyed celebrating the culinary and baking talents of our church for both sweet and savory pies. We sell pie by the slice and a few whole pies you can take home. We are hoping to add homemade ice cream to the menu. The money we raise this year will go to support our missioners and work in Puerto Rico.

Get Directions

Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary . William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

Church Mission

The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...