W.A.R. Bible Study “I Owe God So Much” Pt.1 – Why I Love The Lord – Psalm 116:1-11

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

W.A.R. Bible Study

June 4, 2018

I Owe God So Much– Part I

Psalm 116:1-11

Why I Love the Lord

Amongst the 150 Psalms we find some of the most powerful prayers in humanity. It covers a multitude of spiritual moods and issues that relate to every aspect of life. While it is not clear who the poet of Psalm 116 is, it is categorized as one of the six Hallel of Egypt Psalms that range from Psalm 113 –116. These songs were sung or recited as a prayer publicly in the morning or in the evening after a very important meal of remembrance during the Passover. Psalm 116 is a Jewish Prayer that was used for praise and thanksgiving and recited during the Jewish Holidays. It is very possible that Jesus and his disciples sung Psalm 116 after He instituted the Lord’s Supper.

This psalm is a personal testimony of thanksgiving to God by one person who is grateful to God for a recent deliverance from death. Why does he write this Psalm? He has just stared death in the face and the experience is still fresh in his mind how God brought him out of trouble. Verses 1 through 11 reveals to us 3 things: God has heard, helped and held him!

The psalmist begins with a declaration of adoration, “I love the Lord.”He explains why he loves the Lord in the subsequent verses.

  • Verse 2:He hears me. The psalmist says, “He inclines his ear.”
  • Verses 3 – 6: He helps me. The psalmist experienced great sorrow. However, the psalmist says, “I called upon the name of the Lord”. The end of verse 6 says that he “helped me.”
  • Verses 7-11: He held me. The psalmist confirms to us that God held him up and kept him from falling during the times in his life when he was most vulnerable to affliction and betrayal.

Group Questions

  1. Why did the psalm writer depend on the Lord for help?
  2. What is the focus of the psalm writer’s praise?
  3. How had the Lord provided for the psalm writer’s needs?
  4. From what predicament did the Lord deliver the psalm writer?
  5. What accusation did the psalm writer make against his enemies?
  6. What can we learn about thankfulness from the psalm writer’s attitudes and actions?
  7. How would you like your faith to be like the psalm writer’s?
  8. What should be our response to God hearing, helping and holding us during the time of trouble?

Making It Plain

  1. How could you creatively remind yourself this week to turn to the Lord for help in times of need?
  2. What is one step you could take to renew your worship of the Lord?
  3. Why do we owe the Lord so much? Name 3 things.
  4. How can we show the Lord our love for Him? Name 3 things.
  5. How will you share you love for the Lord in MHMBC? Name 3 things.
  6. How will you share your love for the Lord in public? Name 3 things.
  7. How will you share your love for the Lord with younger generations? Name 3 things.

Because of Him!

Pastor Oscar T. Moses

Psalm 116 Image

Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses W.A.R. Bible Study – 2018

The Urgency of Now – Pt. 5

The Danger of “One Day”

Proverbs 6:6-11

Some sermons are harder to preach than others because some sermons, more than others, force me to make changes in my life. This message is no exception because it forces me to work on an area in my life that needs immediate attention and improvement; procrastination. I move quickly to say we all struggle with some form of procrastination. Whether it is paying bills on time, following through with health challenges, filling out the new job application or the application to get back in school, or ending a toxic relationship that has lingered too long, we all have said, “I’ll do it one day.” The next thing you know, in the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “We are faced with the fact my friends that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”

30 years ago there was essentially no research done on procrastination. Today researchers have established finding that lead to why people procrastinate. In 2007 Piers Steel a psychologist at the University of Calgary published a review of almost 800 studies on procrastination and discovered four main reasons:

  1. Low confidence in succeeding – A fear of failure
  2. Task averseness – The task seems to hard
  3. Distractibility and impulsiveness – Things that pull you away from completing the task
  4. Having goals and rewards to far off in the future – What you dream of doing seems too far away

One person rightly said, “Procrastination never won a race, received a promotion or changed the outcome of any situation.” It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will transform the negative cycle of procrastination in our lives.

Proverbs is the second book of the third section called “Writings” in the Old Testament. It is not purely a collection but considered a “collection of collections” relating to a pattern of life. The book of Proverbs raises questions about values, moral conduct and the meaning of life. Overall it appears to be a book of instructions that father is writing to his son. In this passage a father is instructing his son not to be lazy or a procrastinator. He requests his son to contemplate the ways of the ant. The ant is a very industrious creature that lends to life lessons on the urgency of now and the dangers of procrastination.

The ant collects food at the proper season. They provide food for the summer and collect it in the harvest for their consumption. There is no other insect quite as industrious as the ant, not even the bee. The ant labors with purpose to ensure that it has proper provisions for itself and its young. The ant collects food for lean times. One commentator sums up the ant in this regard, “Spring, summer, and fall, they are relentless in their labor; and their conduct affords a bright example to men.”

The author shifts the lesson to offer reprimand to the procrastinator. “How long will you just lay around and do nothing? When are you going to get out of bed? You take a nap here and a nap there. You take a day off here and there, sit back and take it easy. You can look forward to a fatalistic future; a dirt-poor life and poverty will be your permanent houseguest.” What is the author teaching us in the passage about procrastination?

Disappointing days are certainly walking your way: “Four different Hebrew words are used in the 11 references in Proverbs, all bearing the idea of being in need of the necessities of life, although a distinction is made between being in want and being in extreme want.” The word “travelleth” means to walk “to.” It may not surface all at once but it is certain to come with slow, sure and approaching steps.

Disappointment will come with irresistible force and you will become the victim of an unprepared fight: This passage suggest that “want” will ascend upon you with swiftness and overtake you as a swift traveller approaches one who is walking slow or as a man with a gun upon an unarmed man. The unarmed man, unprepared man surrenders to the man with the weapon.

Life Application

There are some things in life that need our immediate attention. Your health, both spiritual and physical requires immediate attention. We are quick to say “one day” I will get in shape. How many times have you said, “I’m going back to school? I’m going to take care of my last will and testament and make final plans for my family.”

What are the perils of Procrastination?

  • Procrastination causes mental stress without pursuing closure. It gives you plenty to worry about without getting anything done.
  • Procrastination places you further away from a conclusion. Time waits for no one.
  • Procrastination sets the stage for a catastrophe.

How do you avoid Procrastination?

  1. Remind yourself of the consequences. What will happen if you never address what you are supposed to do?
  2. React to the circumstances: Do something each day that moves you closer to the desired results.
  3. Remove distractors: not developers. There are some things in life that distract and pull our attention away from what we are supposed to do. There are some things we feel are too hard but will develop us. If God calls you to a task He will make sure you benefit from the task.
  4. Reward yourself: Celebrate each victory. No premature celebrations.

In this month that celebrates Black History I am thankful that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a procrastinator. He did more in 39 years than most will accomplish in a lifetime. At the Riverside Church, one year before he died King said, “Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life can leave you standing bare, naked and dejected with lost opportunity. There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance and neglect. Omar Khayyam is right. ‘The moving finger writes and having writ moves on.’”

Why put off tomorrow what you can do today? Commit to move forward. Start now. Remember the words of Goethe: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

Do it Now!!!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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Your Life Is Calling You!

The Urgency of Now – Part 2

Your Life Is Calling You

Esther 4-14

In 1986 “Jo Jo Dancer Your Life Is Calling” became a silver screen sensation. Richard Pryor played the role of Jo Jo Dancer, a popular stand-up comic who lived life recklessly. Although he achieved success in comedy he hasn’t found happiness. There was something missing. He eventually burned himself severely while freebasing cocaine. In a timely manner, the film hit the silver screen after Pryor, in an attempt to commit suicide, sets himself on fire.

In the movie, Jo Jo Dancer is laying in a hospital room in intensive care, in a coma after the freebasing incident. From his deep comatose thoughts emerge memories of his life. He reflects growing up in a brothel and struggling to beat the odds to make a name for himself as a famous standup comedian. What he thought was success lead to a destructive lifestyle that literally ruined him spiritually and prevented him from being the person God intended him to be. His spirit man attempted to convince his past persona to end the cycle of destruction and embrace a new life that would bring new possibilities. He began to ponder why he existed and if he wanted to go on living.

In a May 02, 1986 article in the Chicago Tribune the late Gene Siskel wrote these words: “Good movies can take us to faraway places; great movies usually take us inside the human mind. “Jo Jo Dancer“ is a great confessional movie. Richard Pryor stands before us and says with humor, pathos and probably painful embarrassment: Here is where I came from, here is what I went through, here is where I went wrong, and here is how I hope to go right.”

There comes a time in all of our lives when “life comes calling.” Put simply, every event in life is preparation for God’s ultimate purpose for your life and He calls you forth to take a stand at His appropriated time.” How do you handle life when life comes calling for you?

The story of Esther is a biblical case study of what to do when your life comes calling for you. Esther was beautiful but a poor orphan raised by her older cousin Mordecai. It appeared as though the odds were stacked against her. One day the King of Persia made a decree that he wanted a new Queen and he chose Esther not knowing she was a Jew. The King’s right hand man Haman was an egotistical sociopath that convinced the King to issue a decree that all Jews would be exterminated on a certain date. Esther’s cousin Mordecai found out of the plan’s for a Jewish Holocaust. Mordecai sent a letter to Esther, who was now the Queen, to beseech her intercession on behalf of her people but Esther’s response was non-affirming. Esther had two concerns: She did not want to be discovered by her husband to be a Jew and to approach the throne about the matter without an invitation would mean instant death, even though she was his wife. Mordecai sent a second letter to Esther not as delicate. Mordecai said it was only a matter of time before she was found out to be a Jew and would be killed. This was an opportunity for her to “do something” to save her people. Mordecai closed his letter placing this thought on Esther’s mind. “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Esther called for a fast among the Jews and her handmaidens and sent this message to Mordecai, “If I perish let me perish but I am going to see the king.”

What’s the lesson?

  1. Everyone Was Created to Have a Problem Solving Moment in Life
  2. There Comes A Time In Life When A Problem Calls You Out
  3. The Problem Will Be Solved With You Or Without You
  4. Whatever Problem Solving Moment You Were Created For Is Worth Dying For

How do you respond when your life is calling you?

  1. Stop Making Excuses: 2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
  2. Use What You Got: 1 Peter 4:10 – As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
  3. Do The Right Thing: Psalm 37:3 – Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
  4. Give your life back to God: Romans 12:1- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

What is life requiring of you?

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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Hope For Hard Times

HOPE FOR HARD TIMES
Living With Certainty in an Uncertain World
Philippians 4:4-7

Talk about uncertainty… The Apostle Paul did not know what to expect from day to day… but he was at peace. While in prison and scheduled for execution Paul wrote this letter. Yet, he wrote it as though he did not have a worry in the world. What was his secret? How did he remain certain and peaceful when things seemed to unravel at the seems? In the following verses Paul gave us his secret for obtaining peace and being certain in times of uncertainty.

Verse 4
Make A Choice To Rejoice

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice.” Life can be challenging and make us unhappy but the Word of God does not command us to be happy. There are several commands to rejoice. The apostle is so adamant about it that he says it twice. The believer is not to rejoice at “distant intervals” or during church worship but at every moment of our lives. What do we rejoice over? We must rejoice over the fact that God is in control of our lives no matter how out of control life may appear. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, our joy is enveloped in the exaltation that God is certain in an uncertain world and we can have joy in life’s painful and uncertain situations. What Paul has discovered is that your attitude will determine your altitude. Attitude is the eye of your soul. Your attitude determines how you view life. If your attitude is negative, you will see life negatively. If your attitude is positive, you will see life positively. If you have a thankful attitude, you will find something to be thankful for.

Verse 5
Show Some Will Power

          “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” There should be visible signs of joy in your life that others can see even in times of uncertainty. The word moderation means restraint on passions. It means that which is fit or suitable or to govern your appetite or refrain from excessive eating or drinking, it meant to restrain ones temper and to live a life that can be an example of what a Christian should look and live like. It takes will power to let others see that you are at peace and not pulling out your hair at the first sign of trouble. “For the Lord is at hand,” suggests that we should live as though God is coming back today. This phrase gives the idea that we should be on our best behavior because we don’t want the Lord Jesus to come and we are not prepared to stand before Him.

Verse 6
Pray About Everything With Thanksgiving

          “Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The word “careful” means to be anxious. Some translations read, “Be anxious about nothing.” It does not mean that we should not be concerned about worldly matters or the things that are important to us, i.e., family, finances or health. It means don’t worry. The apostle says, “by prayer and supplication.” The word supplication is a stronger word than prayer. It is a mode of prayer that derives from a sense of need or want. It is when we say; “Lord I need you to do this for me!” The apostle said we should do it with thanksgiving. One can always find something to be thankful for when one prays. In other words, show some gratitude when you pray. Let your request be made known unto God. Tell Him what your wants and concerns are not as though you are telling Him something that He does not know. He requires that we come and express them to Him.

Verse 7
The Results

Here it is! Paul tells us the results of doing these three things in verse 7: “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” The peace Paul talks about is felt when we are not worrying. It is a peace that passeth all understanding. That is, man can’t conceive how you have obtained it. It is the peace of the highest possible kind. God has a peace which is nowhere else known. It’s crazy peace! It’s the kind of peace where people think you must be crazy. The kind of peace where people will look at you and know it’s nothing but God. It’s the kind of peace that makes you smile in the midst of the storm. It’s the kind of peace that keeps you smiling when other folk are crying. It’s the kind of peace that allows you to go home and sleep at night. IT shall keep your hearts and minds. The word “keep” is a military term, and means that the mind would be guarded as a camp or castle is. The text is saying that God’s peace will keep your hearts from heaviness and your minds from a meltdown!

Here is the clause in the contract: It is only found in Christ Jesus. This is why Jesus said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Final Thought: “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you plenty to do but it doesn’t take you any where.”

Peace,

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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TAKING GIANT STEPS

GIANT STEPS

Matthew 14:29

“And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship,

he walked on water, to go to Jesus.”

Jazz composer John Coltrane at the age of 35 years old after playing with many successful bands for many years decided to grow and launch out on his own.  This was challenging at 35 no matter how good he was. He decided to make an album using all original tunes. This was unheard of because in the jazz industry you always colored someone else’s tunes. He was warned of failure. However, he did it anyway and produced the album “Giant Steps”. It became an instant success because of its complicated rifts. Coltrane’s album “Giant Steps” not only was a success but it set the standard for other jazz musicians that followed. Coltrane had a plan for his personal development and was successful.

Do you have a plan for your personal spiritual growth in 2015? I once heard a statement by John Maxwell that said, “Life is in session! Are you present?” The bottom line is, spiritual growth is an option. It is continuous and vital to living the victorious Christian life. However, many churchgoers are not present in the spiritual life development session.

The truth is, spiritual growth does not happen by accident. You must make it your intention to take the necessary steps towards your own spiritual growth and development.

In Matthew 14 Peter took a giant step that catapulted his understanding of the value of trusting God. Peter took the step that changed his life. On a storm tossed sea the disciples were in a boat that was being tossed like a rubber ball when they saw Jesus walking on the water. They were not sure if Jesus was a ghost or not but Peter asked, “Lord if it is you bid me to come.” Jesus told Peter, “Come!”  Peter took a giant step and walked on water. He took the step that changed his life.

Here are 3 Giants Steps that can change your life in 2015.

  1. Change Your Mind And You Can Change Your Life! Jesus wanted Peter to change his mind towards great possibilities with the assistance of Jesus.
  2. What You Walk Away From Will Determine What God Will Bring To You! Peter walked out of his boat. Had he never walked away from the boat, he would have never known that he could walk on water.
  3. Your Obedience To Jesus Will Stretch Your Faith! Peter did not take a foolish risk but he had a faithful response. He waited for Jesus to call Him before he went.

Praying for your “Giants Steps” in 2015

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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Demand and Supply

Demand and Supply

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Most of my life I have heard the vintage Christian adage, “God will never put more on you than you can bear.” While that sounds comforting and may give one a temporary sense of relief; it’s just not true.

What do you do when God puts more on you than you can bear? How do you respond to life’s overwhelming demands from circumstances or people that seek your assistance, advice or assurance? Every maturing Christian will ultimately experience times when life demands more than he or she can supply. How one responds to life’s demanding episodes is crucial. Although some people are invasive, insensitive and indifferent there are others that simply just need your help. Circumstances that demand more of our time and attention are not always avoidable.

Why would God allow us to become overwhelmed with the demands of life? Why are there times when we simply do not have the supply of patience, compassion or energy to meet the demands that life brings our way? The answer is found in God’s Holy Word. Hebrews 4:16 (KJV) – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

This powerful verse reminds the believer of three treasured truths to live by.

  1. Approach Means Everything: We have access to God through prayer and should never feel ashamed or insecure coming before God for help.
  2. Grace And Mercy Does What We Cannot: God has an abundant supply of grace and mercy to augment and supplement the areas of our lives where we are depleted.
  3. God Offers Help In The Time Of Need: Help is a common need. There comes a time when even those who try to help need help themselves.

 

Loving God’s Word

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Here it is! God will place more on you then you can bear! BUT! When life demands more than the Christian can supply there is a Heavenly Storehouse available to help in the time of need.

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor-Part I

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

Part I

Acts 17:28

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being.”

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

We are a television driven generation that has been subtly seduced and swept away in a hurricane of television programs and advertisements. Yet we never realize how powerful and impressionable television advertisements are. Every television show has a sponsor that supports and shares in the promotional responsibilities with the full understanding that the sponsor will be able to promote their product or program. The sponsor does not always come right out with blatant advertisement. Often the sponsor subtly advances in a way that is palatable to our liking and captures our interest. Through subliminal messages the sponsor amazingly weaves sponsorship influence into the fabric of our everyday lives.

Sponsors find ways to get mass participation and support. Rent a movie and there is a word from the sponsor, go to a movie theatre and there is a word from the sponsor. Watch a football game and there is a word from the sponsor. The sponsor wants you to know that they are responsible for what you are enjoying.

Child of God, God wants His Children to know that whatever good you have accomplished in life, whatever opportunities have come your way, whatever advancements you have made, the life you have, He is responsible for it! For the Christian, God is our sponsor. God reminds us everyday when we awake that we cannot make it without Him. It is not the creature comforts, trinkets and treasures, status or stamina that sponsors our being but God alone. Therefore, as we come to the close of 2014 let us calibrate our compasses of thanksgiving and appreciation towards The One who makes our lives possible, Our Sponsor.

In Acts 17 Paul preached a sermon to heathens who worshipped false gods. They believed that idols were in control of their lives. They were ignorant of the true and living God. The apostle mentioned an altar he had seen with the inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. The heathens in Athens multiplied their idols, their treasures and creature comforts and thought there was a god they had no knowledge of. Paul preached to them (and us) that God has been patient with their idolatry but it was time for them to wake up and smell the coffee and repent for placing idols before Him. Paul admonishes the hearer not to go searching for gods when we have access to the true God who is responsible for the gift of life. Our life is proof that God is alive and doing well and He is upholding us with His power and sustaining us by His grace. The Apostle Paul stated in Acts 17:28 (KJV) – “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” Put simply, God is our sponsor and His words to us should not be taken lightly. What is the Word from our sponsor and what does          Acts 17:28 mean for the Christian as we stand on the threshold of 2015?

  1. WE ARE ALIVE BECAUSE OF GOD!Genesis 2:7 (NIV) – The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
  2. GOD ORCHESTRATES EVERY GOOD MOVE WE MAKE! Psalm 37:23 (NIV) If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
  3. WHATEVER GOOD WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED IS A PART OF GOD’S PLAN! –   Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

That’s the Word today from our Sponsor!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

 

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What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas-Part III

WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS?

Part III

Matthew 1:23

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

John Cacioppo, in talking about the Lethality of Loneliness, said what we don’t realize is that air pollution increases your chances of dying prematurely by 5%. Obesity increases your chances of dying prematurely by 20%. Alcohol increases your chances of dying prematurely by 30% but living with loneliness increases your chances of dying by 45%.

You can be in the midst of a crowd and still feel like the loneliest person on earth. I have discovered that the experts on loneliness are not the psychologist, census takers or Gallup polls, they are the people that we sit next to in church on Sundays, ride next to on busses, work with on jobs and live in our homes.

There are a lot of lonely people in the world that feel as though they have no one. Contrary to what many believe, one of the loneliest times of the year is Christmas. However, for the Christian, this is the time of year that we reflect on the greatest gift to the world; God is with us. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became like us so we would not have to make this pilgrimage alone.

Matthew 1:23 says, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

The Christian has the assurance of God’s Word in times when loneliness surfaces. What do the lonely do at Christmas? Let’s examine each step in this 3-part series.

  1. Reach WithinReflect! Have a conversation with your soul about how many times the Lord has brought you through the difficult times before. Reflection on God’s acts of grace from your past can bring a sense of assurance of God’s never parting presence.
  2. Reach UpPray! Have a conversation with Jesus. The hymn writer reminds us of the “needless pains we bare” when we do not pray.
  3. Reach OutHelp! Do something good for someone. Help someone that needs your help and take the attention off of yourself. The old adage is, “Help somebody and you will help yourself.” Reaching out may challenge you to come out of a comfort zone but the effort is worth the try. Finally, surround yourself with positive people who can affirm the presence of Jesus Christ in the lives of all believers and never forget to remember God Is With Us!

Wishing you and your family a blessed and Merry CHRISTmas.

Christian-Christmas-Dr. Oscar T. Moses

WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS? Part II

WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS?

Part II

Matthew 1:23

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Why do people experience loneliest during Christmas? Health professional experts call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Health professionals also state that loneliness impairs immune function and boost inflammation, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Loneliness has doubled: 40 % of adults in 2 surveys said they were lonely. It’s up from 20% in 1980. The Gallup Poll says that loneliness affects a third of the population and psychologist say that the figure is steadily on the rise. Loneliness can be one of those symptoms that if we leave unchecked can be deadly. The problem arises because we don’t know how to treat it. When we feel hungry we eat. When we feel sleepy we lie down. If you break a bone you can treat that but how do you treat loneliness?

There are a lot of lonely people in the world that feel as though they have no one. Contrary to what many believe, one of the loneliest times of the year is Christmas. However, for the Christian, this is the time of year that we reflect on the greatest commodity given to Christendom and that is the greatest gift to the world; God is with us. For the person who does not have a clear understanding of that phrase let me explain.

Matthew 1:23 says, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

The Terrific News for this Tuesday Morning is this: God Is With Us! Some people will abandon you in times of agony but Jesus is saying to us, “I won’t abandon you. I am with you.”

If you find yourself lonely during this season take this second step of three.  the message was Reach Within. The message for Wednesday is:

Reach Up: When horizontal relationships fail you that you have become dependant on shift your focus from the horizontal to the vertical. When loneliness sets in check your prayer life. Have a little talk with Jesus. He is a confidant in crisis and a comforter in life’s most critical times.

 

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-Dr. Oscar T. Moses

What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas? Part I

WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS?

Part I

Matthew 1:23

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

 

Ray Williams is a psychologist that states the following: “According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience the highest incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report the highest incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season.”

There are a lot of lonely people in the world that feel as though they have no one. Contrary to what many believe, one of the loneliest times of the year is Christmas. However, for the Christian, this is the time of year that we reflect on the greatest commodity given to Christendom and that is the greatest gift to the world; God is with us. For the person who does not have a clear understanding of that phrase let me explain.

 Matthew 1:23 says, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Jesus was a common name often given in the memory of Joshua that meant, “Jehovah saves.” Jesus has many names that are given to Him. This passage refers to Him as Immanuel. Matthew is quoting Isaiah 7:14 – Immanuel means “God is with us”. Jesus is the Messiah’s name but Immanuel describes the Messiah’s NATURE. The nature of Jesus does not allow Him to abandon us. He just cannot do it! He loves us beyond human expression and understanding.

Child of God, remember this: There comes moments in our lives when we may feel abandoned by people. Relationships are tricky. Aristotle talks about 3 kinds of friendships. There are friendships of utility where each person uses the other person until they no longer find any use. There are friendships of pleasure where you may or not look for anything you just enjoy the company. There are friendships of the good that have been tried over a period of time and built on mutual respect and admiration. To put it simply there are friendships that come our way and some are for a bigger reason and others are for a smaller season. The Big News for this Monday Morning is this: God Is With Us! Some people will abandon you in times of agony but Jesus is saying to us, “I won’t abandon you. I am with you.”

If you find yourself lonely during this season take this first step of three that we will look at for these next three days and watch God work:

The message for today is:

Reach Within: You have to have an inward conversation with your soul during this time of year to make certain that your view of this season is right. It’s not about you but all about Christ. Harness your will and focus on others. Give up any selfish aspirations to please yourself and focus on someone who can benefit from your life. Reach within and have a conversation with God. If you are depressed or lonely during thus time of year, reach within and be honest with God and be honest with yourself. Do some self-examination. That is the first step of countering loneliest; having a real conversation with yourself about how good God has been to you. God is Good!

Christmas gift on defocused lights background

 

 

 

 

-Dr. Oscar T. Moses