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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Too Good Not to Share (Genesis 12, Matthew 28)

Sermon by: the Rev. Dr. Carter Robinson; July 30, 2017 - Genesis 12:3-9, Matthew 28:16-20

:: Sermon Audio (link) ::
Click link to open and play in browser; right-click to save. Sermon audio is also accessible as a free podcast in iTunes. Search for "Good Shepherd Sermons" or "Robert Austell." 

:: Scripture and Music ::
Singing Together: Come, Christians Join to Sing (MADRID)
Hymn of Response: I Love to Tell the Story (HANKEY)
Song of Sending: Here I Am, Lord (Schutte)

:: Sermon Manuscript :: there is no manuscript this week

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Home of Homes (Psalm 84, John 1-2)

Sermon by: Robert Austell; July 23, 2017 - Psalm 84; John 1:14; 2:18-22

:: Sermon Audio (link) ::
Click link to open and play in browser; right-click to save. Sermon audio is also accessible as a free podcast in iTunes. Search for "Good Shepherd Sermons" or "Robert Austell." 

:: Scripture and Music ::
Singing Together: Better is One Day (Redman)
Singing Together: I Have a Shelter (Cook, Cook, Kauflin - Sovereign Grace)
Offering of Music: Home (Austell) - click player to hear today's live version or check out the studio version

Hymn of Sending: Be Thou My Vision (SLANE)

:: Sermon Manuscript (pdf) ::
This "manuscript" represents an early draft of the sermon. Some weeks  the spoken version varies more than others from the early manuscript. Nevertheless, if you'd prefer to read than to listen, this is provided  for that purpose.

Today we pick back up in our summer series entitled, “Psalm+1.” Each week we are looking at one of the Psalms, which were the songs and prayers of God’s people. The “plus one” is a New Testament passage that ties in some element of the Good News of Jesus Christ to the theme of the Psalm. Today we are looking at Psalm 84 and the idea of being at home with God.

Home with God (Psalm 84)

Psalm 84 is a beautiful poem or song that reflects on what it means to be home with God, in the presence of God. In the first section of the Psalm (vv. 1-4), human beings can relate to the animals – the birds, the swallows. Like them, we also find a place to lay our head and care for family. (v. 3) But that experience of a home is just a glimmer of a greater Home where we are in the presence of God, who provides and cares for us as His family. So the poetic phrases and words flow. God’s home is ‘lovely’ (v. 1) and the Psalmist yearns, longs, and sings from the soul to be in God’s presence. (v. 2) That is the place of blessing, the best place to be. (v. 4)

How are we to experience the presence of God? The Psalmist explores that as well in the middle section of vv. 5-8. God does not drag us against our will into His presence. Rather, the blessing of being in God’s presence comes to those who find their strength in God and whose hearts are traveling the highways to God. (v. 5) In other words – in fact, Jesus’ words – those who SEEK will FIND. Even passing through the valley (v. 6), those who seek God are oriented towards home and have the hope of finding and knowing the presence of God.

The third part of the Psalm (vv. 9-12) connects the celebration of the first section with the chosen path of the second. It becomes clear that choosing to seek God also means choosing to turn away from the alternatives – from false gods, from self-interest, from distraction. That’s why one could say, “A day in your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (v. 10) Those places ‘outside’ may seem attractive in the moment, but they do not hold a candle to trusting and living in the presence of God. The Psalmist gives us a glimpse into the better way when describing the Lord God as “sun and shield" and the one who “gives grace and glory.” (v. 11)

So all in one sentence: Being with and in the presence of God is the best thing and something that we can and should desire, seek, and find. To do so, we must turn away from what is against God or not God and turn toward God’s will and word. That is not only the path of blessing, but is the definition of blessing.

God at Home with Us (John 1:14)

Well that’s lovely and, as they say, “that’ll preach.” God is good; turn away from sin and turn toward God; God welcomes you home and into His presence!

But here’s the reality and the problem: we don’t consistently and faithfully seek the presence of God. We do choose those places that are ‘outside,’ that are lesser than or outright lies in the moment. Not only do we not consistently seek and choose the “courts of the Lord,” sometimes we run full out in the other direction. That’s not only an admission and confession; it is actually the human condition.

But I am reminded of the verse which introduces Jesus at the beginning of John’s Gospel. After identifying Jesus as God and with God and from God, John writes this amazing sentence about Jesus:

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (v. 14)

The great news of the Gospel is that in Christ God came among us and made His home WITH US! We are inconsistent seekers, inconsistently faithful. But here’s the news: GOD is the one being faithful; GOD is doing the seeking.

Think of that great parable of the Prodigal Son. In it the son has failed miserably and has rejected his father and family. He doesn’t come back home expecting restoration; he comes to beg mercy. But the Father runs – silly runs, making a scene – to welcome him. And the Father seeks out the older brother, who has literally chosen a place ‘outside’ the home to withdraw and sulk. The Father seeks him out as well to invite him in.

Jesus sought out folks who had failed and fallen: those who realized it, like the tax collectors and beggars, and those who denied it, like the Pharisees and scribes. He was God in the flesh, making a home among us, helping us see God.

Home through Jesus (John 2:13-22)

And Jesus connected the dots for us between Psalm 84 and himself. For the Psalmist, the dwelling place of God was both the Heavenly courts and the earthly Temple and house of God. While God could see you and know you and protect and bless you; God’s people generally had to go to God.

Jesus flipped that around and said that in Him God had come to you. Jesus loved the Temple as the “House of God” – that’s why he was righteously angry at the mis-use and abuse there by the money-changers. But in that same setting he then connected the dots to himself and identified his own body as the new presence and place of God.

John introduced Jesus as God in the flesh. Jesus taught that his body would be the new Temple. And when he died and was raised, he demonstrated those things to be true.

Why is that important? It means that the claims of Psalm 84 are now located in Jesus. Indeed a day with him is better than a thousand elsewhere. He also asks obedience, faithfulness, and service of us. But a fixed “House of God” cannot come after you or pursue you. But Jesus can and does. He actively seeks you out, inviting repentance, offering forgiveness and restoration, and inviting into partnership and service.

That is why Jesus is our “Home of Homes.” Not only is the door always open and the welcome always extended; he also is looking out for you and seeking you faithfully. It’s like our old lighthouse and searchlight imagery. Jesus is God on the move for the world, for you.

Can I Quit Church?

A few final thoughts… That doesn’t mean that church is worthless. We come here for a number of reasons taught in the Bible: worship, community, fellowship, and more. The New Testament says in Hebrews not to forsake assembling together.

Jesus locating the “House of God” in himself also didn’t do away with the idea of an eternal Heavenly Court. In fact, that is the greater and more permanent “Home” – and where Jesus is now, at the right hand of the Father. But what he did was bring a taste and a preview of that eternal reality into the here and now. We portray and experience that when we receive the Lord’s Supper. I always say that it is in anticipation of being in the presence of God, a kind of appetizer for what is to come.

In just a bit, during the offering, I am going to sing a song I wrote called “Home.” I’ve sung it before, so you may remember this backstory. It is taken from one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite books – The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. What has just happened is the end of the world (in the story); for C.S. Lewis, the context of WWII and other world events were in the backdrop. The Christ figure in the story, the lion Aslan, is caring for those who still survive after a fearsome war and great suffering on all sides. He has prepared a meal as a taste of what is about to come. The human children and some others see him and this gracious meal and receive his kindness and love as they pass onto what is portrayed as the greater country, the life to come. Another group refuses to trust the motives of the lion and cannot see the banquet set before them. In their blindness they literally taste it as hay and dirty water and they turn away and choose ‘outside’ despite the lion’s earnest invitation and plea.

In the final scenes of the book, after all the struggles of this life, the children and others reach the far country. They proclaim, “This is what we longed for all along.” They knew the comfort and ‘home’ of God in life and they recognized and welcomed the greater home in the end.

God’s invitation to you is to come home and ENJOY being at home with him, not just in eternity but here and now in the highs and lows and struggles of life. An illustration I have found helpful is this:

You do not have to earn or purchase or build or find your home with God. In Jesus, because of Jesus, God has already made a home. Yet, far too often we choose to reject our home and family with God and sleep outside. Sometimes we even choose a thousand days or more ‘outside.’ But there is a better place that is already secured by God’s love through Christ for all who would come, and that includes you. Come home!

Don’t settle for the driveway or the yard. Come in! The refrain of those children and others in C.S. Lewis’ book was “further up and further in.” Come home!

The Father of the Prodigal said to his lost son, “Today my son has returned; come inside that we might celebrate!” He said to his older son, “All that I have is yours; come inside that we might celebrate.” Come home; come in; Christ has made a place for you. Amen.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Tangible Kingdom (1 Peter 2.9-10, Luke 4.14-21)

Sermon by: the Rev. Betty Meadows; July 16, 2017 - 1 Peter 2:9-10; Luke 4:14-21

:: Sermon Audio (link) ::
Click link to open and play in browser; right-click to save. Sermon audio is also accessible as a free podcast in iTunes. Search for "Good Shepherd Sermons" or "Robert Austell." 

:: Scripture and Music ::
Singing Together: Hosanna/Praise is Rising (Brown, Baloche)
Singing Together: Great are You, Lord (Ingram, Jordan, Leonard)
Offering of Music: This Kingdom (Bullock)
Song of Sending: Our God Has Made Us One (WEBER)

:: Sermon Manuscript :: there is no manuscript this week

Sunday, July 9, 2017

That Voice (Psalm 29, Revelation 5)

Sermon by: Robert Austell; July 9, 2017 - Psalm 29; Revelation 5:11-14

:: Sermon Audio (link) ::
Click link to open and play in browser; right-click to save. Sermon audio is also accessible as a free podcast in iTunes. Search for "Good Shepherd Sermons" or "Robert Austell." 

:: Scripture and Music ::
Singing Together: O Worship the King (LYONS)
The Word in Music: I Sing the Mighty Power of God (arr. Fettke)
Song of Response: I See the Lord (Falson)
Song of Sending: Revelation Song (Riddle)

:: Sermon Manuscript (pdf) ::
This "manuscript" represents an early draft of the sermon. Some weeks  the spoken version varies more than others from the early manuscript. Nevertheless, if you'd prefer to read than to listen, this is provided  for that purpose.

I’ve written songs since I was a kid. When I was younger the music came first and the words were a labor. As I experienced more of the world I found that I preferred to write the words first, then compose music that fit them. Sometimes I write in my “man cave” and my mind roams to situations or settings that inspire what I’m going to write. Other times I have taken time away in a beautiful setting like the mountains or the beach and found inspiration away from the clutter and distraction of daily life.

I share that to say that I believe this particular “song” that is Psalm 29 was written in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. I can’t prove that, but I can relate to it. Maybe the Psalmist just imagined such a storm. Regardless, that is the backdrop for this songwriter, this poet, to write about the glory of God. With each crash of the thunder, the Psalmist thought of the voice of God; and it inspired praise.

There are many Sundays where the scripture text gives us something to do, some application into our life. And certainly this Psalm has application, but it is primarily focused on our glorious God. I mean, think about a thunderstorm. It doesn’t really generate a to-do list in your head. You may think about getting in out of the rain, but mostly it’s just a “wow!” I may draw out some implications for us today, but mainly my hope is that you and I will get a sense of “whoa!” as we think about God. If we can catch even a bit of that, I think it generates its own application in our lives.

Along those lines, I want to share a video clip with you. I saw this when it circulated on the Internet – maybe two years ago. It may make you giggle, which is fine. But it’s for real. You may think the man is intoxicated, but I don’t think he is. (Remember the apostles were accused of the same on Pentecost!) This 53 year-old farmer saw a rainbow and the sheer beauty of it overcomes him. In the last two years this video clip has been viewed over 44 million times.

I believe that’s what is going on in Psalm 29 (and in our other text in Revelation 5).

That Voice (vv. 3-9)

I’m going to start in the middle of Psalm 29, because that’s where the storm is happening. Then we’ll look at the beginning and ending.

In seven verses the Psalmist delivers seven visuals to go with seven thunderclaps. Like the guy in the rainbow video, I can imagine the Jewish songwriter sitting in the storm with the words rolling out in sequence:
[boom] The voice of the Lord is upon the waters – the God of glory thunders! (v. 3)
[crash] The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is majestic! (v. 4)
[crack] The voice of the Lord breaks ...even the mighty cedars of Lebanon. (v. 5)
The mighty countries of Syria and Lebanon skitter and buck like animals terrified
by the storm. (v. 6)
[boom] The voice of the Lord spits lightning like fire and rattles the earth. (vv. 7-8)
[crack] The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth (or twists the oaks?)
and strips the forest bare. (v. 9)
And after all that, this powerful verse: “And everything in His temple says, ‘Glory!’” (v. 9)

When the whole created world seemingly yields before the mighty sound of thunder, the Psalmist sees in that a powerful glimpse of all Creation declaring the glory of God.

It bears a striking resemblance to the scene in Revelation, where all the angels, creatures, elders, and nations gather around the throne of God and declare, “Glory!” They say, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev. 5:12) Every created thing in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and all things in them join in, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (v. 13)

Like the cascading peals of thunder and the response of nature to those, the gathering in Heaven offers praise after praise before the throne of God. The Psalmist has caught a glimpse, inspired by something in this world in the general revelation of God’s creation.

Have you glimpsed it? Can you imagine even the smallest part of what all Creation means by “Glory!”?

The Lord as King (vv.10-11)

The Psalm ends by coming out of that metaphor. Moving from God’s voice as thunder, the Psalmist declares God as King:
The Lord sat as King at the flood; yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace. (vv. 10-11)
This is the Psalmist’s conclusion – not an “if you do this, God will do this” statement, but a recognition of what God does with all that power and glory and might. It is more praise and wonder, as if recognizing that with the mighty thunder comes the needed rain. The one with this voice is also the one who rules over us and does so with compassion, strengthening and blessing His people with peace.

Maybe the inspirational thunderstorm gave way to rain or maybe the Psalmist just recognized the goodness of God alongside the wondrous power and might. But it is a wonderful connection and reminder to us of who God is.

Giving Praise (vv. 1-2)

So to the beginning of the Psalm. It begins with this word, “Ascribe.” It literally means ‘give’ but here carries the sense of “recognize and respond.” O sons and daughters of the mighty One, recognize the glory and strength of the Lord. The recognize part is to realize who God is. God is not a deity of your or my imagination or creation. We could not invent such a God. Like the thunder that will follow, God IS and (at some point) we will be confronted with God on His own terms. Just as we have to “respect the storm” – God demands respect. Not ‘demand’ in a petulant, “won’t you worship me?” way, but demands like if you really caught a glimpse of that voice, that power, that glory, there is only one response. Whoa! Glory!

So the Psalmist appeals to those who will hear his song, “Recognize and respond!” And if you don’t know what he’s talking about, he’s about to tell you all about that time the mighty thunder reminded him of an even greater God. So recognize the Lord’s glory and strength, and respond. That is what worship (v. 2) is… it’s the response we make after recognizing who God is. If worship is dull or boring or shallow, it may well because we’ve not seen or heard the thunder… or the power behind it.

I want to invite the worship team to come up. The prophet Isaiah wrote about a vision he had of the Lord. Let me read it and then we’ll sing in response:
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”  Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” (Isaiah 6:1-7)
After we sing ‘Holy’ we will confess as Isaiah did; then we will hear God’s assurance of mercy and grace. Come, let us ascribe glory to the Lord!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sweeter than Honey (Psalm 19, Matthew 5.14-19)

Sermon by: Robert Austell; July 2, 2017 - Psalm 19; Matthew 5:14-19

:: Sermon Audio (link) ::
Click link to open and play in browser; right-click to save. Sermon audio is also accessible as a free podcast in iTunes. Search for "Good Shepherd Sermons" or "Robert Austell." 

:: Scripture and Music ::
Gathering (Lyric) Video: Voice of the Skies (The Shiyr Poets)
Singing Together: God of Wonders (Mac Byrd, Steve Hidalong)
Singing Together: Joy (Amy Grant)
Singing the Word: Your Law, O Lord, is Perfect (Landis, CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBEN)
Offering of Music: We Will Feast in the House of Zion (McCracken, Moore)
Hymn of Sending: Behold the Morning Sun (Watts, LAUDES DOMINI, arr. Austell)

:: Sermon Manuscript (pdf) ::
This "manuscript" represents an early draft of the sermon. Some weeks  the spoken version varies more than others from the early manuscript. Nevertheless, if you'd prefer to read than to listen, this is provided  for that purpose.

This past week at Vacation Bible School we talked about the Creation story. One of the great themes of that story is captured in the beginning of Psalm 19: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God… declaring the work of His hands.” That Psalm continues with vivid metaphors to explore the ways in which God’s creation glorifies it’s Maker. Then, in what may be a surprising turn for us as modern readers, the Psalm turns to the beauty and perfection of God’s Law… another life-giving and God-glorifying product of God’s person and power. Today we will look at these two gifts of God – creation and commandments – and then see how Jesus connects and embodies these two gifts.

Creation (Psalm 19:1-6)

Psalm 19 declares that the heavens “speak” – they tell of the glory of God and declare the work of God’s hands. (v. 1) This kicks off a string of metaphors where the passing of days and nights also “pour forth speech” and “reveal knowledge.” (v. 2) What is this message? What is this knowledge? It is that GOD IS CREATOR and GOD IS GLORIOUS. And yet, these are not actual words and speech, and too many miss the majesty and glory of God all around us in Creation. Creation’s “voice is not heard.” (v. 3) Though the rising of the sun is like a groom coming out of his chamber to see the bride or an athlete racing to the finish line (v. 5), we sometimes still miss out on the message: GOD IS GREAT AND GLORIOUS!

Nonetheless, theologians speak of Creation as God’s “general revelation” – it may not contain the specifics of salvation or forgiveness from sin, but it does proclaim – even “shout” – in its own way that THERE IS A GOD! And the reach of this general message is far further than the written word. It stretches and reaches “to the end of the world.” Bible translators are still laboring to get scripture translated into every tongue, but the sun rises and sets, the starry expanse displays to peoples in every distant part of the globe. The Psalmist uses these images and metaphors as if to ask, “How can you miss it?” Isn’t it evident all around you?

Commandments (Psalm 19:7-11)

From there Psalm 19 shifts to talking about the “Law of the Lord.” This is not as abrupt a change as it might seem at first. The Psalm had been using communication metaphors like “speaking” and “telling” – how natural to shift into actual words given by God to reveal His purpose and will.  And after saying that some people do not “hear” the proclamation of Creation, it makes sense to make the point that God has ALSO revealed Himself through the literal spoken and written word.

For the modern reader, what may be more surprising than the shift from Creation to Commandment is the affection and imagery with which the Psalmist talks about the Law of the Lord. There are six pairs of sayings  (remember the love of Hebrew poets for repetition?!) that line up with a description of the Law and its effect or blessing in our lives:

The Law of the Lord is perfect… restoring the soul.
The testimony of the Lord is sure… making wise the simple. (v. 7)
The precepts of the Lord are right… rejoicing the heart.
The commandment of the Lord is pure… enlightening the eyes. (v. 8)
The fear of the Lord is clean… enduring forever.
The judgments of the Lord are true… they are righteous altogether. (v. 9)
Then, after that, a startling claim about what can seem to us a dry, boring subject: [God’s Law/Commandments] are “more desirable than gold… sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honey comb.” (v. 10) I remember tasting honey from the honeycomb from my aunts beehives as a child. There is nothing more sweet and natural than honey. And this is comparing that to God’s Law? To Leviticus and the Ten Commandments and all the rest? Really?!

Let me talk for a moment about God’s Law or Commandments. In Hebrew scripture – in our Old Testament – the Law served three main purposes. Some of it was civil law, instructing Israel how to govern itself as a nation. An example of that is Exodus 21:33-34 – “If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make restitution; he shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.” While there is an underlying principle of fairness and restitution, this “case law” was the equivalent of our traffic laws or other national laws and is not meant to be replicated in other nations. It was specific to ancient Israel.

Some of the Law or Commandments had to do with the practice of religion and was ceremonial in nature. Examples include the various feasts and sacrifices as well as the kosher food laws and laws about mixing fabrics.

And some of the Law or Commandments was moral or ethical, describing God’s intent for things like sexual purity, the value of human life, or the treatment of family or neighbors. The best known examples are the Ten Commandments.

In every instance, the follower of God in ancient Israel understood that God’s Commandments were for safety and blessing. They weren’t for salvation, but for thriving and flourishing. They were given and spoken out of God’s love for His people, much like parents make rules for their children’s health and safety.

Calling (Matthew 5:14-19)

In Matthew 5, Jesus speaks of the Law, saying “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (v.17) In his teaching, Jesus goes on to help us understand the value and beauty of the Law. While he lives in the context of the nation of Israel ruled by Rome, he acknowledges the need to keep the laws of the land, even acknowledging the lawfulness of Caesar to tax – that’s the famous “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” statement; though people rarely finish the sentence – “…and render unto God that which is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) Yet Jesus isn’t focused on proclaiming a restoration of the kingdom of Israel, but announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God.

The religious ceremonial laws were meant to point to something beyond themselves; Christians believe that something is a SOMEONE, Jesus Christ. He has gathered up all the feasts and sacrifices into himself as the once and for all sacrifice. He has fulfilled and completed the food and clothing laws – rather than eating and dressing in a particular way to be distinct in the world, believers are now to “eat his flesh.. the bread of life” (John 6:48,53) and are to put on “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12) as their distinctive clothing.

And regarding the moral law like the Ten Commandments, and right after his statement in Matthew 5 that he is not doing away with the Law, but fulfilling it, Jesus teaches through a number of those commandments and presses them even deeper – God’s desire is that we not only keep them externally, but also in the heart and mind.

And so that is all very interesting – Jesus does indeed value the Law and he helps us understand how all the Old Testament Law relates to us as Christians and modern people. But here’s the really fascinating part, given our starting place in Psalm 19 today: Jesus connects us and calls us through his fulfillment of the Law back to the role of Creation to declare the glory of God. Look, it’s right there in Matthew 5 before he starts talking about the Law. He uses a metaphor that calls to mind those first days of Creation:

You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (v. 14,16)

Do you see the connection and the CALLING? When we keep God’s Law – now embodied, explained, and fulfilled in Jesus – we function like Creation itself, shining God’s GLORY for the world to see. It is not to show ourselves off, but to point the world to God.

And let me add this so you don’t miss it. Neither the Old Testament Law nor keeping the Commandments now is salvific. The point of them is not to “get us to Heaven.” That’s God’s job in reaching down to us. The purpose of the Law is two-fold: 1) to help us experience God’s best (particularly when it is fulfilled in Christ) and 2) to demonstrate God’s glory. It is when we yield to that and live in it that we can begin to experience it as “sweet as honey.” That’s also when we really start to “shine.” Amen.