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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen
Ps 27:4 "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple."
If you were asked for just one wish to be granted by the Lord what would that wish be? Money, success, healing? When Solomon was asked he avoided all this and asked for godly wisdom. God blessed him because of that.
This Psalm is one of David's who pleased God and was after His heart. Yes, many speak about David's sin but very few mention his repentance. Jesus was called the "Son of David" as He entered Jerusalem.
The desire to dwell in God's house is not just a longing for heaven. It refers to dwelling in the presence of Christ here on earth. The reference to a "house" does not literally mean a temple or a church. Rather, it refers to an intimate relationship to God and His people. This also implies the desire to hear His voice. We should remember that God's voice never speaks outside of his Word.
The person who has this "one desire" reflects Jesus to all around him.
There is an old story about a lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline. Once a month he would receive a new supply of oil to keep the light burning so that ships could safely sail near the rocky coast. One night, though, a woman from a nearby village came and begged him for some oil to keep her family warm. Another time a father asked for some to use in his lamp. Another man needed to lubricate a wheel. Since all the requests seemed legitimate, the lighthouse keeper tried to please everyone and grant the requests of all. Toward the end of the month, he noticed his supply of oil was dangerously low. Soon it was gone, and one night the light on the lighthouse went out. As a result, that evening several ships were wrecked and countless lives were lost. When the authorities investigated, the man was very apologetic. He told them he was just trying to be helpful with the oil. Their reply to his excuses, however, was simple and to the point: "You were given oil for one purpose, and one purpose only - to keep that light burning!"
Do you reflect Christ to all around you because of the oil of His Spirit in you?
Johann Heinrich Dannecker was one of the great artists of the 18th century. There is the story of how Dannecker had worked on a statue of Christ for years. When completed, he brought an innocent child, a little girl of 8 to view it and give her comments. He asked the little girl: "Who is this?" And she replied, "A great man!". He was cut to the heart because she failed to recognize Jesus in his work. Crushed, he abandoned that statue and started working on another with all his heart. [rest of the story not used in the sermon: He took 6 years to complete it. Then he brought the same little girl who was now 14 years old and asked her: "Who is ths?" She replied with a quote from Scripture: "Suffer the little children to come unto me". Dannecker was overjoyed. She immediately saw Jesus in his work. He was greatly pleased for he had devoted all his art to God and His glory.]
Can others recognize Jesus in you?
Repentance from sin and a turning to Jesus brings you into his presence. You can live "in the house of the Lord all the days of [your] life".