Monday Devotional

                                                                                    Going Deeper

     In Pastor Kirk's sermon this week he talked about Mountains and Valleys.  

?   Do you remember the sentence that kind of wrapped up that thought?

     "We may ENJOYGod on the mountaintops,  but we get to KNOWHim in the valleys."  

?   Do you remember the story Pastor Kirk told about Vera?

     ?  How old was she?  About 70 years old.

     ?  What kind of ministry did she have in the church?  (Treasurer)

     ?  What kind of Spiritual Giftsdid she have? (Was she a Preacher?  Teacher? -  I didn't hear   that)  - But I did hear some Spiritual Gifts coming through,  didn't you?  For example...

            Hospitality-  Kirk had donuts at her house every Monday.

            Generosity-  She cooked a Spaghetti dinner for the whole church. - (I get that she also    had the Gift of Helps.  My guess is that she probably led the clean-up crew in the           kitchen.)

            The image of Vera,  that I have in my mind,  is of a rather ordinary woman.  Not one to    get on stage,  or demand the limelight.  But a Godly, Friendly,  Helpful,  Joyous woman,   who served others.  

     It's interesting to me that when she lost her life,  she didn't go through a valley;  she went straight to Heaven;  She went immediately into God's presence.  - -  Everybody that she left behind had a Valley to go through.    

     Most of us are going to be left behind by someone...  A Parent,  A Spouse,  A Friend, perhaps even a Child.  That pain of being left behind is often a very dark Valley,  don't you agree?

     Pastor Kirk talked about Psalm 84:5-7,  which talked about the Valley of Baka.  

            (? Do you remember what he said the meaning of Baka is? - -  Weeping.  

     ?  What do you think about Weeping?   Is it good? Is it bad?

         We see lots of examples of Weeping in the Bible,  right?  

     ?  Did Jesus ever Weep?  (for Lazarus)

     ?  Another time? (He wept for Jerusalem at His triumphal entry,  just days before he was       crucified. He prophesied the destruction of the city and it's people.)

            Let's read it together:  Luke 19:41-44.

     ?  Where was Jesus when this happened?  He was coming into the city from the hill that they call the Mount of Olives.  - -  I've stood at that spot.  I've looked over Jerusalem from

             that exact hill top.  And I can picture Jesus looking at that city and weeping...

            - -  He could have wept for Himself that day,  couldn't he, because he was going into a                 very dark valley.  The crowds were shouting "HOSANNA TO THE KING!"  But He knew...            ... He was the ONLY ONE  who knew,  what was ahead of Him.  - -  

                 There was no Throne awaiting him in Jerusalem,  just a Cross...  

                 There was no Crown... except a Crown of Thorns.....

            - -  But Jesus wasn't weeping for Himself that day... He was weeping for others.


     Here's the thought that comes to my heart from this whole Baka Valley experience,  the Valley of Weeping,  that we will all go through,  sooner or later.  Here's the thought:     When YOUare weeping,  Jesus has already wept for you... and is even nowweeping WITHYOU.

      JESUS WEPT.  Let me remind you of something.  It OK to weep.  When you are in the Valley of Baka,  what else are you going to do,  it's the Valley of Weeping?  It's OK to weep.  - - And make sure that you let other people know that it's OK for them to weep,  when they are in the Valley of Baka.  

     The Bible says that there is a time for weeping.   Let the tears flow.  

     But weeping will not last forever.  When the time if right,  God will bring you out of that Valley.  Let me read with you a Psalm of David... And by the way,  I believe that David went through more Valleys of Weeping than just about anybody I can think of....

... Remember Kirk's Bottom line in his sermon?  "We may ENJOY God on the mountaintops, but we get to KNOW Him in the valleys."   Think about this:  DAVID KNEW GOD.... probably because he went through so many valleys.  


     Read this Psalm of David with me as we wrap up - -  Psalm 30:1-5:

    "I will exalt you,  O Lord,

             for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

      O Lord my God,  I called to you for help and you healed me.

      O Lord,  you brought me up from the grave,  

             you spared me from going down into the pit.

      Sing to the Lord,  you saints of his;

            Praise His Holy name.

      For His anger lasts only a moment,  but his favor lasts a lifetime;

            Weeping may remain for a night,  but rejoicing comes in the morning."


     We will all have our Valley of Baka to go through,  and it will be a dark night of the soul...

but joy will come in the morning.  Hold on to that.