The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their cry.
The face of the LORD is against them that do evil,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth,
and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous:
but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
In Psalms 34, David is praising God (vs. 1-10), and he is exhorting believers to fear God (vs. 11-22). In the second paragraph (vs. 11-22), David begins by encouraging believers regarding the Lord whose eyes are upon the righteous and whose ears are open unto our cry. God is against evildoers and will punish them, but He hears the cry of the righteous. When our heart is broken, the Lord is always near and saves believers who have a contrite spirit. In life, Christians will experience many afflictions, but the good news is the Lord will deliver us from all of them.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I humbly greet each of you, my Heavenly Father’s children. By the grace of God, we are alive to begin the month of September. Because so much is uncertain in this world, especially in these perilous times, we cannot assume that we will be alive to witness a forthcoming day, a forthcoming week or a forthcoming month. Therefore, let’s praise God who has sustained us and blessed us to enter into a new month.
Today, we need to address the importance of our young people’s education. First, we begin by congratulating all of our graduates. Our young people need to know that St. John values each of them and each of their achievements. To graduate from Preschool to Elementary School, from Elementary School to Middle School, from Middle School to High School, from High School to College or from College to a Destined Career is an achievement. We want our young people to always encourage themselves in the Lord with Philippians 4:13 which states: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Moreover, we commend the parents of our graduates for providing the resources through Christ for our young people, and we further commend St. John parishioners for financially supporting our Scholarship Ministry (led by Min. Peggy Alexander) to bless our young graduates with scholarships and gifts.
Secondly, we encourage our young people (from the youngest to the oldest) to work more diligently than ever to learn during this pandemic. To get a good education, students will have to be more self-disciplined, and parents will have to assist and encourage students more since the site of their education in many cases will be at home instead of at school. This will be a challenge for students and the parents of students, but the sacrifice parents will make for the education of their children promises to be rewarding. An encouraging word to all parents of students is in Galatians 6:9 which reads: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not [don’t give up].”
To achieve well in this world, a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ is essential. As parents, God expects us to teach and exemplify Christ before our children with the aim of them experiencing Eternal Salvation (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 10:9). As I often preach, parents today fail because we have deviated from how we were parented. As parents, we must be more responsible, attentive and nurturing in the lives of our children in order to please God and make a positive difference in this evolving world.
I pray that each of us will receive and apply what I have been divinely inspired to share in this discourse. I also want to thank those of us who have faithfully and generously supported St. John financially, especially in the last six months. Please continue to give by mailing or dropping off your Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org). If you mail or drop off your contribution but no longer have Offering Envelopes, please include a note stating specifically how you want your money to be disbursed.
If God is willing, I hope to proclaim a new podcast message with you this upcoming first Sunday morning, as I did each week before undergoing a health issue, so please keep me lifted up in prayer.
May God Bless And Sustain Each of Us.
Your Servant In Christ (Who Is Recovering Well),
Pastor Kevin B. Hall