Loaned Out - 9/16/18

LOANED OUT! 09 16 2018
Psalm 89: 1, Psalm 21: 1

I want you to put on your imagination cap. … Picture this; … if on a Sunday
morning, I came into this sanctuary and a stranger was sitting in this chair …
and then at 10: 30 AM, proceeded to get up, … lead the worship … and preach the
message.
These thoughts could easily pass through my mind: … why is he / she … sitting in
my chair; … why is he / she … preaching from “my” pulpit?
It would be something like the feeling you may have when Sunday after Sunday
you come and sit in the same pew … and then one Sunday, … you come and some
new person is sitting … “in your pew”.
When reality settles in, … we realize that is not your pew at all; … that pew
belongs to the Church … and the only reason you can sit in it … is because the
Church makes it available to whomever is preaching the message … and by-the-
way, … this is not my pulpit. … this pulpit also belongs to the Church; … not to
me … and if I really want to get it right, … that pulpit belongs to God … and
whomever He would choose to put in it.
It’s the same when we go to work. … If we are a truck driver or a machinist, …
our employer hires us to drive a truck to make deliveries and pick-ups … but not
very long, after driving that truck day after day, … we develop the feeling this is
our truck … and if we come into work and find someone else driving “our” truck,
… we want to know why!
Just as I would if we worked the same machine every day … and then months later
came in to find somebody else working “our” machine … when all the time the
truck … or the machine … or whatever it is; … the desk, the computer, the
company car, … they are not ours at all … but are, … so-to-speak, … “on loan” to
us while we are employed by this Church … or … that company.
I raise this point of ownership with you before this Thanksgiving Season coming
up in November, … to makes us conscious, once again, … that if we are truly to be
thankful NOW … or in any season for that matter, … the question of ownership
must be clearly settled in our hearts … and when it comes down to who owns
what, … the Word of God is very clear: …
Psalm 89:11: … The heavens are Yours; the earth also is Yours. The world and
everything in it—You founded them.
Psalm 24: 1: … The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the LORD

You and I are surrounded everyday by possessions we think we own: … our car,
our home, our children, our clothing, our money, our hidden away collections of
coins, guns, dolls, family heirlooms.
“Hey, … who owns that white F150 in the parking lot, … they have me blocked
in?”
“I own this land free and clear … and here’s what I’m going to do with it.”
Sometimes we joke about the bank owning the car or house … because the bank
holds the mortgage or title … but beyond the joking is this daily mental perception
we have … and especially after the loan is paid off, … this is really ours!: …
I earned it; … I bought it… ; I paid it off with my money!
What I am trying to say this morning, … is that until we truly believe it all belongs
to God; … He owns it all; … until that perception is clear … and we are really sold
on it, … come November 22 nd , … Thanksgiving will only be a good meal on
Thursday with the family.
Now I know some of you may be thinking this is a little early to be considering
Thanksgiving … but for some of us, … it might just take this extra time for this
reality … to sink in!
Think about when you are truly thankful. … Is it not when you’ve had something
very valuable or useful; … lost it … and then recovered the lost item?
Maybe it was your health … or suddenly you lost the use of your hand to some
type of paralysis or numbness; … possibly you were in such pain you couldn’t
walk … but then by medicine, … an operation … or therapy of some kind, … your
health was restored; … how thankful were you?
We see it, from time to time, … in the news when a child is lost or kidnapped …
and then found safe and unharmed, … then returned to the parents.
Tears of joy and thankfulness flow easily.
Whether it’s our health, … a child, … our job or home; … whatever is lost or
harmed, … amidst all the other issues that can erupt, … ownership (control), …
customarily rampages through our mind: … “I thought I took good care of myself”,
… “my health was fine”; … “my child is seldom out of my sight; … I just glanced
away for a moment, … besides, I thought Bill was watching also!”
Do we really own our health, … or our child, … any more than we really own our
job or our house?
Psalm 24: 1-2: … The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the LORD; 2  for He laid its foundation on the seas and established it on the
rivers.

Psalm 104: 14: … He causes grass to grow for the livestock and provides crops for
man to cultivate, producing food from the earth,
Psalm 104: 27 - 28: … All of them wait for You to give them their food at the right
time. When You give it to them, they gather it; when You open Your hand, they are
satisfied with good things.
The contrast of what I am talking about is the kind of pride we see in King
Nebuchadnezzar. … He was the king of a great empire and fell easily into the
temptation of believing he was the owner and master of many lands, property, and
peoples. … Daniel, the Lord’s prophet, … had warned the king that the Lord God
Almighty would humble him for his sinful self-preoccupation.
So we read in Daniel 4:29-33: … “At the end of 12 months, as he was walking on
the roof of the royal palace in Babylon,  30  the king exclaimed, “Is this not Babylon
the Great that I have built by my vast power to be a royal residence and to display
my majestic glory?”
31  While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: “King
Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared that the kingdom has departed from
you.  32  You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals, and you
will feed on grass like cattle for seven periods of time, until you acknowledge that
the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men, and He gives it to anyone He
wants.”
33  At that moment the sentence against Nebuchadnezzar was executed. He was
driven away from people. He ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with
dew from the sky, until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’
claws.”
So much for King Nebuchadnezzar and how important he thought he was with all
“his” possessions of land, property and kingdoms. … He is only an extreme
example of each of us who have failed to settle in our hearts who is truly the owner
of my paycheck and the very air I breathe. … It’s all on loan to us … from Him, …
the creator, … for another moment, another day, … by His grace, … even for a
lifetime:
When You send Your breath, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth.
31  May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in His works.
(Psalm 104:30-31)

Do we, … like Nebuchadnezzar, … have to keep losing what we treasure and think
we own, … before we realize the truth that every day and possession of that day …
is God’s gift to us?
Most likely the answer is “yes”; … pride will continue to shackle our thankfulness
until we have accepted this truth!
I’ve heard so many times; … “we are born again.” … Listen, … until God greatest
gift of all to us, … His Son, Jesus Christ, … becomes our Lord and Savior …
and His Holy Spirit takes charge of our heart and mind; … until that conversion
takes place daily; … the precious black star sapphire gold ring my dad gave me for
graduation, … will always be mine instead of His … and the money I have will
remain under my control instead of His.
Who are we to think we can change ourselves? … Who am I to think I could ever
be grateful for anything I have made and accomplished?
Let us not be blind; … thanksgiving will come with an inner divine transformation,
… when God in His creative power … takes hold of our selfish and sinful heart; …
and with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ … washes away the old self … and
gives to us a new self in Christ Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then you and I will have that new and true understanding of who owns the cattle
on a 1000 hills (Psalm 50:10). …
We see this inner divine transformation take place in who of all people but King
Nebuchadnezzar. … Remember we left this boasting and prideful ruler struck
down by God living like an animal, … eating grass like an ox, … his body wet
with the dew of heaven, … his hair growing out like a madman’s, … his nails like
bird’s claw.
And then we read Daniel 4: 34-37: … But at the end of those days, I,
Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me. Then I
praised the Most High and honored and glorified Him who lives forever: …
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation
to generation. 35  All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and He
does what He wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth.
There is no one who can hold back His hand or say to Him, “What have You
done?” 36  At that time my sanity returned to me, and my majesty and splendor
returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and my nobles sought me
out, I was reestablished over my kingdom, and even more greatness came to me.
37  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all

His works are true and His ways are just. He is able to humble those who walk in
pride.
Have we gotten the point? … Nebuchadnezzar did. … The earth and everything in
it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD. (Psalm 24: 1)
When we truly give thanks, … it is more than a meal; … it is a tribute to Almighty
God, … our owner and keeper, … our Savior and friend. …
Did you notice that when God gave the king a new heart, … that He restored the
fortunes of the king just as He restored Job’s fortunes when he too received the
inner divine new birth; … and in the restoration came even greater fortunes:
“…and my majesty and splendor returned to me for the glory of my kingdom .”
(vs 36)
So the LORD blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the first (Job 42: 12)
Real thanksgiving comes when we accept and live out the truth God has given to
us in His word and in His Son. … So let us pray for a rebirth of self from our old
way to God’s new way, … a rebirth that occurs, not once, … but daily … as God
continues to transform (change) us from one degree of glory to the next.
Then when someone else is sitting in our pew … or Hudson becomes lost at
Walmart … or worse, … our most treasured possession … or person is taken, …
there will still resonate within us from the very depths, … the bedrock expression
of thanksgiving: … “because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded
that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.”
(2 Timothy 1: 12)
AMEN