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Bikers Church Sermon Notes
15 January 2017
God's Favor
by Walter Jones
Psalm 65:11 (NLT) – “You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even
the hard pathways overflow with abundance”.
What a powerful verse!!
INTRODUCTION – As we have started 2017, you may be going through much
reflection as to what happened in the past 12 months of 2016 or even previous
years. Some will have testimonies, others will remember challenges and difficulties,
and while some others may think of the health issues they had to face or even
having lost a loved one. Some would say, ‘It was my best year’, while others may
say, ‘it could have been better’. The list can go on! While preparing this message,
here are some old memories that went through my mind.
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I remembered 2016 year when I had two accidents in the space of three months.
Not of my own doing or fault. The second accident, resulting in my car being
written off.
I remember how my grandma warned us about wasting food and how bread was
going to cost R20, we are almost there. And how in 2016 low levels of rain
caused the death of thousands of farm animals and resulted in poor crop yields.
Soaring food prices, R90 for potatoes caused people to jump on the “Banting
wagon” level 3 water restrictions made for an interesting December holiday.
I remember how for the past two years our industry has been struggling in how
difficult it was for me in particular to make money.
I remember how God allowed us to make do with, and how He brought us
through with very little.
And of course, I remember how my beloved boys in red were struggling for three
seasons and made a beautiful comeback in 2016 and continue to go from victory
to victory.
The list can off course go on and on.
Psalm 65 is considered a National Psalm of praise and thanks to God for His
goodness. It was apparently sung after the spring rains came in to water and refresh
the earth. This song was even more meaningful if the Nation had been through a
particularly bad dry season.
PROPOSITION – God’s favor is upon this New Year 2017.
Let’s now look at the words of Psalm 65:11 from which I would like to share 3
thoughts about God’s favor for the New Year. They are;
1) GOD PLACES A CROWN OF FAVOR ON THE YEAR.
A crown is a special and glittering insignia worn by Kings, Queens, Emperors & other
royalty. At sporting events in Biblical times, sometimes a crown or something that
resembled it, was given to the winners, while in present-day beauty contests too,
Bikers Church Sermon Notes
15 January 2017
the winner is given a crown. We also crown people with titles like King of Rock and
Roll (Elvis Presley), and King of Pop (Michael Jackson). Bobby Brown was called King
of R&B, (Ribs and BBQ) WHAT? The guy made 1 album in 1983. That is a false title.
But mostly, crowns are identified with royalty. Of course, we know only too well that
human crowns fall off after a season.
The Bible identifies God’s people as a Royal Priesthood, crowned by God Himself!
Psalm 65:11 as we already read, says that ‘God crowns the year’. Yes, His grace will
crown every day we face in the coming year, with its challenges!!
Let’s look at some of the crowns mentioned in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul,
possibly remembering the then famous Isthmian Games, (In ancient Greece, a
festival of Athletic and musical competition in honor of the sea god Poseidon held in
the spring), speaks about a ‘crown of righteousness’, while in James 1:12, we read
about the ‘crown of life’ after having stood the test. Isaiah 61:3 talks about a ‘crown
of beauty’ and 1 Corinthians 9:25, reminds us about an ‘eternal crown’. Peter, in his
first epistle tells us about a ‘crown of glory’ (1 Peter 5:4) and Isaiah 51:11 say
‘everlasting joy will crown their (believers) heads’.
Let’s now look at the ‘crown’ Psalm 65:11 is talking about.
2) THE CROWN OF FAVOR GOD GIVES IS A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST
The NKJV translates it as ‘His Goodness’.
My sincere prayer for you, congregants, visitors alike is that the year 2017 will be
one in which God will give you a ‘bountiful harvest’. As we step in to a new year,
what a comfort it is to know that His ‘Goodness’ is upon us. So, let’s look at some of
the acts of God’s ‘Goodness’, shown in this Psalm.
• He answers our prayers (vs. 2) –
The Bible says that we should call unto Him and He will answer us… and show us
great things. Ask and it will be given. You have not because you don’t ask.
• He forgives our sin (vs. 3) –
The Bible says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us. He
removes our sins as far as the east is from the west and never thinks about it again.
Our sin was like scarlet (skarlaken) but He purified us and declared us righteous. Not
guilty, as if we never sinned. Praise God for Salvation. Christ died for you and me
while we were yet sinners.
• He fills us with the good things of His house (vs. 4) –
Jehovah Jirah will provide for you. Jehovah Raphe will be your Healer. By His tripes
we are healed.
Bikers Church Sermon Notes
15 January 2017
• He answers with awesome deeds (vs 5) –
He makes a way where there is no way.
The world looks for qualifications and outward appearance but God looks at the
heart and bless us according to His will.
• He protects us (vs 5-7)
• He does wonders and miracles (vs 8)
• He sends rain and makes the land fertile as the climax to a year of
abundant blessing (9-13). This was of great importance in the agricultural setting
and community in which this Psalm was written.
ILLUSTRATION - As I look back upon the past year, I can see the bountiful harvest
God has given us in our ministry, besides providing for us in supernatural ways.
When I had nothing, God used various people who blessed us in so many ways
without even knowing that there was a need. The Bible says ‘’ …He knows what we
have need of before we even ask.”I had several opportunities to preach God’s Word
andwhen the altar call was given, what a joy it was to see the altars flooded with
people.
A man of God said, ‘You may lack the fastest, the finest and the latest, but
you won’t lack what is needed’!!
Are you ready to prepare yourself for a ‘bountiful harvest’ through God’s ‘goodness’
in the New Year?!!
3) GOD’S FAVOR WILL BE SEEN EVEN IN THE HARD PLACES
“Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”.
No doubt, you and I will have to face some, if not many ‘hard pathways’ in the
coming year. It’s part of life. But, the Psalmist says, “Even the hard pathways
overflow with abundance”. Yet again, this statement must be looked at in the
agricultural setting in which it was written. Maybe there were level 3 water
restrictions. Maybe the dam levels were only at 49%. God’s abundance is spoken of
here, even in the most difficult moments or seasons. God will make a way where
there seems to be no way. The Bible says,Mat. 6:26 - 28 “Consider the Lilies of the
field they do not toil nor spin… consider the birds of the air… God provides for them,
how much more worth are you to God? He will provide for you. Let’s remind
ourselves that before the Promised Land could be conquered, the Jordan had to be
crossed and the walls of Jericho had to be brought down. The Jordon and the walls
of Jericho represent the challenges you and I will have to face just before your
greatest breakthrough or your biggest comeback.
Bikers Church Sermon Notes
15 January 2017
Someone said, ‘If God takes us on stony paths, He will fix us with strong shoes’!!air
Jordan 23.
2 Sam. 22:34 NIV “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me
to stand on the heights”
This Psalm speaks about abundance, after a dry season. Maybe the past year has
been a ‘dry season’ for you; for your ministry. If so, can we believe together that
you will see ‘God’s abundance overflowing in the hard pathways’ in the New Year?
ILLUSTRATION –A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go
through the white heat of the furnace to become Porcelain.
Mildred Witte Struven, Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p.6.
CONCLUSION – As we prepare our hearts to see Psalm 65 fulfilled in the year ahead,
let’s remember that on our part, we need to give the Lord Jesus the first place in
every area of our life.
Here is something that was posted in the Time Magazine.
‘To achieve spiritual success, do not forget to give God the first hour of the day, the
first day of the week, the first part of every paycheck, the first consideration in every
decision, and the first place in your heart.’ - Ralph W. Harris. That’s a great way to
start and to live through the year ahead!!
May you receive ‘God’s crown of goodness and a bountiful harvest in the new year’,
and may you see ‘His abundance overflowing even in the hard pathways’. Have a
blessed and Christ-filled 2017!!
*****
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