The Lord is Watching Over You

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THE LORD IS WATCHING OVER YOU
Mike Cunningham,
February 2, 2014

I can’t help it, nor do I want to. That’s the way that I am because it’s how the Lord has made me. Day after day it’s always the same because they’re constantly flowing through my mind. However, even if it were possible, which it isn’t, I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I would become a different person, one who is restless and fearful and devoid of hope most of the time. So much so, that I would want to obliterate my unhappiness with alcohol and/or other mind altering drugs at every opportunity. As it is, I have strength for the day and hope for tomorrow. With the Lord’s help, I’ll never quit and drop out of the race.

All things considered I’m content and optimistic. As long as I trust God I’m able to sense his loving presence and I know the Lord is watching over me every second of my life. I love sharing this blessing with other people at every divinely ordained opportunity.

For instance, here’s a wonderful example of something I experienced early last week. My granddaughter Katie and I had been corresponding via email about how she is doing in college. She said that she is struggling very hard to get good grades on her exams. She wants to pass her finals. Katie said, “I hope I do pass both exams, grandpa, but I don’t have much hope. I really need hope. Please pray for me.”

House_SparrowAnd so I immediately bombarded the “Throne of Grace” on Katie’s behalf. A couple of seconds later, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “Send it to Katie. Send her the lyric’s to ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’ right away.” As soon as I found them, I emailed them to her. She got back to me saying that it cheered her up so much that now she is hopeful that she will pass those exams. I hope that they will do the same for you folks, too.

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW
By Sylvia D. Martin (1906)

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain:
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Here’s another thought provoking devotional. I pray that you will be blessed by it just as I was.

ONE THING CAN ALWAYS CHEER ME
Unknown author

One thing can always cheer me
when I’m feeling sad and low
when I’m tired of daily trials
that I have to undergo.
When those who should
seem closest, seem like
people I don’t know,
one thing can always cheer me
I know that God is near me.

One thing can always cheer me
when I do not understand
how pain and sadness
in our lives
can get so out of hand,
when the best of human efforts
doesn’t meet the days demands,
one thing can always cheer me
I know that God is always near me.

One thing can always cheer me
more than anything I’ve known
and show me I will never
have to struggle on my own
for no matter what might happen
I will never be alone
the thing that will always cheer me
is just knowing God is near me.

Our lives are in God’s loving
hands, in everything we do
He is with us constantly,
He always sees us through.
And if our faith is strong enough
we’ll never walk alone,
for with His great and perfect love
He takes care of His own.

Psalm 121:3-5 (NIV)
3 He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you.

Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV)
23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Those two devotionals were given to me in response to my fervent prayers on behalf of certain people. Those people told me that they been blessed by them. It’s sad to say, but all too many Christians don’t realize that prayer is the most powerful spiritual weapon in the world. I found the following devotional as a result of asking God for a terrific example of prayer in action.

THE MISSIONARY
Author unknown

“Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, “I’ll pray for them later?” Or has anyone ever called you and said, “I need you to pray for me, I have this need?”

Read the following story that was sent to me and may it change the way that you may think about prayer and also the way you pray. I believe that you will be blessed by the following account.

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan…

While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed-guards. “At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, “No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.”

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day that this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:

“On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong; I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?” The men who had met together to pray that day stood up.

The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were; he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26.

Here’s another beautiful devotional. You’re sure to be blessed by it as thousands of other folks have been every time they read it on a Hallmark Card.

THE OAK TREE
-Author unknown

I’d like to be like an Oak Tree
As God reveals His Truth to me,
For an Oak has great capacity
For strength in the midst of adversity-
Sturdiness in the roughest breeze,
Standing firm among weaker trees;
Oh, if I could just be like an Oak Tree,
Unmoved when rough winds beat upon me,
Perhaps I could help the weaker I see,
And somehow my life just might be
A witness to Truth that sets man free.
Father, may my roots grow deep in Thee
As more of Thy precious Word I see,
That I may be…Like An Oak Tree.

“Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith …”

“… be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

That devotional points us to the following scriptures. Read these verses and keep them in your heart like a treasured possession.

Colossians 2:7 (TLB)
7 Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (MSG)
58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

I hope that I’m not sharing too many devotionals with you folks today, but I couldn’t resist this one. It’s called,

ONE DAY AT A TIME
-Author unknown

One day at a time, with its failure and fears,
With its hurts and mistakes, with its weakness and tears,
With its portion of pain and its burden of care;
One day at a time we must meet and must bear.

One day at a time to be patient and strong;
To be calm under trial and sweet under wrong;
Then its toiling shall pass and its sorrow shall cease;
It shall darken and die, and the night shall bring peace.

One day at a time—but the day is so long,
And the heart is not brave, and the soul is not strong,
O thou pitying Christ, be Thou near all the way;
Give courage and patience and strength for the day.

Swift cometh His answer, so clear and so sweet:
“Yea, I will be with thee, thy troubles to meet;
I will not forget thee, nor fail thee, nor grieve,
I will not forsake thee; I never will leave.”
Not yesterday’s load are we called on to bear,
Nor the morrow’s uncertain and shadowy care,
Why should we look forward or back with dismay?
Our needs, as our mercies, are but for the day.

One day at a time, and the day is His day;
He hath numbered its hours, though they haste or delay.
His grace is sufficient; we walk not alone;
As the day goes by, so is the strength that He gives to His own.

Consider the following awesome biblical facts. Find a quiet place and make the time and ponder them-you will be blessed!

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge!” Psalm 19:1-2

The following is my final devotional for today. It’s called,

I Love To Trace The Footsteps Of My Father!
By John MacDuff, “Ripples in the Twilight” (1885)

“GOD IS IN NATURE! I love to trace there the footsteps of my Father!

His watchful stars look down kindly and lovingly from their heights.

There is a touch of beauty even in Alpine solitudes–the piles of driven snow like white mantles woven by angels; the translucent light of fairy grottoes, their roofs pendent with icicle, and distant or overhanging peaks gleaming with the gold of the morning, or with evening ruby.

That great and wide sea with its dancing waves and troughs of chameleon hue.

The whisper of the forest with its sympathetic music of its million leaves!

The pastures clothed with flocks, the valleys also covered over with grain.

The sparkling rivulet winding its thread of silver singing with gentle ripple, and taking its part in the blessing of Creation.

The Almighty has put His loving and creative thoughts into His world. We can devoutly say, “How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God; how great is the sum of them!”

Yes, with all this apparent to his vision–who can see and recognize the Great Ruler of all–only in mists and storms, the boom of the thunder, the flash of the lightning, the tremors of the earthquake, and the havoc of the avalanche? These are the abnormal occurrences in His mighty sway–a few exceptional notes in the great hymn and harmonies of eternal life.”

As I said in my opening remarks, I have strength for the day and hope for tomorrow. All things considered I’m content and optimistic. As long as I trust God I’m able to sense His loving presence and I know the Lord is watching over me every second of my life. I love sharing this blessing with other people at every divinely ordained opportunity.

You and I are members of the Church that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, shed His precious blood and suffered excruciating agony and died for. We each have the responsibility of reminding one another of the truths that are contained in today’s message because they are all too easy to forget while we are in the midst of suffering intense physical/emotional pain.

Keep in touch throughout the week. Remind your brothers and sisters in Christ that they are in your constant thoughts and prayers. I’ve been greatly encouraged every time I receive an email or text message, greeting card or phone call from one of you. They remind me that I’m being thought of and my spirits soar. I’m reinvigorated and full of all sorts of optimism and hope. So much so, that I don’t want to drop out of the race.

Whenever you are tempted to worry, I urge you to slow down for a moment, find a quiet place and go to the Lord in prayer. Then listen to the Holy Spirit as He softly whispers your name telling you to relax-you’re in good hands because, The Lord Is Watching Over You.

Psalm 121:3-5 (NIV)
3 He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you.

Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV)
23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Lord willing, next week ….

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8 comments

  1. Susie says:

    Another great sermon Dad. I LOVE the story of the missionary!

  2. Cheyenne says:

    I loved your sermon grandpa. I really enjoyed the story of the missionary and i’m looking forward for your next sermon. I have been into your sermons lately and can’t wait to read more.

  3. Amanda says:

    Another Great sermon Grandpa! All the devotionals were great and the story of the missionary really caught my attention. It was so good!

    Love,
    Amanda

  4. mike Jr. says:

    I really enjoyed the devotionals. As you know, I pray for you each day in hopes God will continue using you in sharing the gospel. Love you.

    Mike Jr.

  5. Bob Terranova says:

    Mike,
    Another uplifting sermon full of encouragement…..the Lord continues to use you mightily!Your sermons always bring to mind passages that have been huge blessings to me. One is Romans 5:3-5, ” Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character;and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us”. As always, I’m very grateful the Lord allowed our paths to cross.

    Blessings, my friend,
    Bob

  6. Peg Pratt says:

    HI MIKE,

    THERE WAS A WHOLE HEAP OF INSPIRATION IN THE SERMON YESTERDAY. I WISH I COULD MEMORIZE IT SO I COULD CALL IT UP WHENEVER I NEED IT.

    THANKS,

    PEG

  7. Jacob says:

    The sermon tells us to always pray to God even when times are tough. Praying is the most powerful spiritual weapon ever. Another great sermon and I’m looking forwsrd to reading more of them in the long run.

    Love,
    Jake

  8. Zac says:

    Grandpa,
    I love this sermon. I think it proves to us the importance of prayer and that no matter what is going on in our lives that God is with us and he is always watching over us. I loved the story or the missionary.
    Love,
    Zac

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