Michael Youssef - The Heavenly Preachers
Turn with me please, if you would, to Psalm 19. I'm continuing in this series from the Psalms when in verse 1 it says, "The heavens declare the glory of the Lord". And I know that if you have ever taken time, and you gazed into the heavens, and you felt the presence of the glory of God, you understand what I'm talking about? What the psalmist is saying, even in the times of the storms and the gales, we can see the handy power of God. What the psalmist is saying to us is exactly what Paul tells us in Romans chapter 1, in fact, in the whole epistle to the Romans. The stars are God's oldest testament.
I know in our Bibles we have two testament. We have the old covenant, the Old Testament, and the New Testament but there was a testament before the two testaments and that is the stars and the heavens. The stars are God's silent preachers that never tire from reflecting the glory of God. The stars testify day and night. Our God is the God of power and might. Our God is the God of the supernatural. Our God is the God of miracles. And beloved, don't you ever forget that we serve a miracle-working God, that we serve a God who does the impossible, who his hand not too short to work on behalf of his children.
But the one problem, we have lots of problems in our day, but if the one major problem that the churches have in this 21st century, it is the fact that they have lost the vision of the awesomeness and the wonder of our God. We treat him like the little pal down the street, rather than the God who is the God of wonder, and the God of might, and the God of power. Here's the truth, long before the gospels were written in the sacred Scriptures, long before there were prophets and there were priests who were proclaiming, "Thus says the Lord". God's message has been written in the skies. The power, the presence, and the personality of God is declared in the heavens through his creation.
Now, in the past there were some people, of course, looked up to the heavens and saw the stars, and the sun, and the moon, and they began to worship them, not to the God beyond, the God who made them all. And the amazing thing is that the very God who sprang those stars into orbits is the God who loves you, and loves you, and loves you, and loves you, and loves me, and he calls us friends. Isn't that amazing? Isn't it amazing? Beloved, I am absolutely convinced more than ever, more than all the years that past, that it is time for God's children at this time to cease being intimidated and by the datas, and the skeptics, and the political correctness of our culture, and begin to preach the gospel of the God who put the stars in their orbits.
I'm still in verse 1. That's the most important verse. Verse 1, the heavens, it's in the plural. Do you notice that? The heavens, say it with me, "the heavens," in the plural. In fact, the Bible talks about three different heavens and all in the same kind of language, but they're distinguished. Heaven number one is what we see with our eyes, the stars, and the moon, and the sun. That's what we call the sky. That's the heaven number one. Heaven number two, is where Satan dwells, where the throne of Satan is. Satan has not been relegated yet to the boughs of hell, not yet. He will be and maybe sooner than he thinks.
The Bible says he is in heaven. The Bible tells in Job chapter 1 that we see God walking in the heaven and Satan comes in. Ephesians chapter 6 tells us that our wrestling is not against flesh and blood but against, what? The powers and the principalities, where? In the heavenlies. The Bible said that in the last day, Satan will be thrown out of his heaven but then there's heaven number three. That's where the throne of God is. Don't ever forget that it is not by accident in the language of the Bible that heaven number three is above heaven number two. I'm getting ready to shout because I know what I'm gonna say. For it means that God looks down at Satan as if God reminds Satan every single day, "I'm in charge here, buster".
Beloved, don't ever forget that our God has defeated Satan. Our God is not frustrated by Satan. Our God cannot be defeated by Satan. The very fact that he is above Satan, it means that he has the name that's above every name, and he is in the highest of heaven. And so, he looks down on that old serpent of old and he's saying every single day, "I am in a superior position. You are my footstool. You are a defeated snake and you have limited power. You have limited time. You are roaming the earth but only for a few more days. I'm going to chain you with shekels and throw you into the lake of fire. Satan, you have been defeated on the cross and you will never mount to anything again," amen? For there is none like the Lord, none like the Lord.
Verse 1 still literally it means that the heaven, or the heavens continuously declaring the glory of God. God used the stars to preach to the world, and he may be using the stars to preach to the world even now but we know in the Scripture that he used the stars to preach to Abraham. When God revealed himself to Abraham for the first time, Abraham, don't forget, came from a pagan culture and then God revealed himself to him. And then he began to use the stars to minister to Abraham and he told Abraham that his spiritual seed will be as numerous as the stars of heaven, that you and I who are in Jesus Christ today are the spiritual seed of Abraham, that we are the children of Abraham by faith. We better live like it. We are like the stars in the heavens, let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad. But also God will use heaven to announce the return of Jesus.
Matthew 24 our Lord Jesus Christ himself said that in those days, "The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give its light and the stars shall fall from heaven, and we shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory". But also God uses the heavens to declare the glory of soul winning. We take soul winning very lightly. We take sharing the gospel very lightly. If the opportunity comes, and if everything is convenient, we do it, we don't do it, but the Bible has a special glory for those who are soul winners. In Daniel chapter 12, verse 3, "And they that be wise shall shine as bright as the brightness of the firmaments; and they turn many to righteousness as stars forever". Proverbs chapter 11, verse 30 tells us that, "he who wins soul is wise".
Beloved, listen to me, your desire, your effort, your sacrifice, your prayer, your deliberate and intentional sharing of Christ and witnessing to Christ and sharing him with others determines your glow in the heavens and the glory of God's eternity. Verse 2, finally I come to verse 2. Twenty-four hours a day, twenty-four hour cycle, it declares the glory of God. When the sun rises in the morning, what the sun is announcing? Announcing that the moon is coming at night and when the moon comes out, the moon is announcing the sun will be coming in the morning. The sun and the moon are exact opposites and yet they work together to reflect the glory of God. "Day unto day utter speech, and night to night proclaims knowledge".
Another message the star proclaims is this, your time is limited. My time is limited. The sun shines in blazing glory like a young man or young woman in their prime but at the end of the day, it fades away. Beloved, the day ends, the week ends, the month ends, the decade ends, the year ends. Life ends and that's what the stars teach us and that why the Apostle Paul said we must redeem the time. Question, how do you use your time, do you just let it fly away or do you deliberately and intentionally use it for the glory of God? Verse 3, David said, "There's no speech or language, in which the voices of these stars are not heard". Are to be sure they don't speak a language, but the message understood.
These are the old circuit-writing preachers. You know, in the old Methodist church, Wesley started the circuit writers, these preachers who go around preaching the gospel in circuits. Every 24 hours, these circuit-writing preachers, they are preaching every 24 hours. They cover the whole globe and no one anywhere in the world cannot see their message. They radiate God's righteousness and they condemn all who refuse to believe in him. Literally verse 3 it means that while their voices are not actually heard, while their speeches are not being audibly heard, they bring a profound thought, a profound thought. It's like the sign language.
Ever seen somebody doing sign languages? I mean, there's no voice coming out of the person but motion with hands. You see the hands are moving. The stars are the moving hands of God. "I'm here, glorify me, honor me, respect me, worship me alone". And then you see at verses 4 to 6 that throughout the earth their influence goes forth and their words have gone to the end of the earth. Now, if you go outside of this building, completely go outside, you'll be out of the sound of my voice. You can't hear me, although I have an unbelieving dear friend and neighbor says to me, "I can't get away from you. I turn the television, you're on". He said, "I went to Amsterdam and I got into a hotel room". He said, "I turned the television on, there you are". I said, "Get the message, buddy".
Every time you look up, you see and hear the voice of God's evangelists in heaven. They are saying, "God is here and his eyes are on those who fear him". Look at verses 7 to 13, David literally takes us from hearing this unspoken voice of God in the stars and the heavens. As we hear this unspoken message of these evangelists in the sky and as we hear them, they drive us to know more about God. And so, where do you know God? In his Word. So, literally he goes from these evangelists proclaiming the invitation of God to come and then when you come to God, he says, "Now know me, know all about me because I know you and I love you, and I want you to know me".
Remember, the stars and nature, they only calling say, turn to God, turn to God. And so, you come to his Word and you want to know the God that just invited you to come in, why? Because his Word tells us that the Word of God challenges us. The Word of God cheers us. The Word of God changes us. The Word of God convicts us. The Word of God cleanses us. And the Word of God corrects us. And that's all here in those three verses, four verses. Verse 7, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul". That means that the Word of God can convict us and bring us back to him.
Just like the sun returns to the heavens, so does the Word of God returns a repentant sinner, a confessing sinner back to God. Verse 8, God's word cheers us. "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart". Nehemiah and chapter 8, verse 10 said, "The joy of the Lord is my strength". The Apostle Paul tells the Philippians while he himself in prison, he says, "Rejoice". Chapter 4, verse 4, "Rejoice in the Lord always". How often? "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice". Always when you're up or when you're down, not when only things going hunky-dory but all the time. Rejoice always because your rejoicing is not in your circumstances but in who the Lord. The fear of the Lord is clean, endures forever. Verse 10, the Word of the Lord changes us. "It is more desirable than gold, yea, even the much fine gold".
I can make you a promise, when you fear the world and the people of the world, you will crave the gold of the world. But when you fear the Lord, you're gonna crave Jesus. If you fear the world, you will crave power but when you fear the Lord, you will crave purity. When you fear the world, you'll be a people pleaser but when you fear the Lord, you'll be the Father's pleaser. Verse 11, God's Word convicts us. "By them your servant is warned". You see, the Word of God forces us to confront sin in our life. The Word of God exposes hidden, concealed sin and the cancer of sin. The Bible does not say that if we repent to some extent, we will be saved to some degree. No, the Bible does not give us a new meaning for the old sin. The Bible does not call it an alternate lifestyle. The Bible does not call it an affair. It calls it adultery and therefore when the Word of God warns us, we need to take notice.
Verse 12, the Word of God cleanses us. "Cleanse me from the secret sin or hidden sin". What is that secret sin? What's that hidden sin? See, a hidden sin is any sin that not confessed, and wept over, and placed under the blood of Jesus. See, when you confess, what are you doing? You're agreeing with God 'cause God can see through us. But when you refuse to confess, when you rationalize, when you explain away, "Well, because this has happened, because so and so did this, and because the circumstances were that," that means you're disagreeing with God and you know where that's gonna take you. Beloved, the only way I know how, you've heard me say this and I'll say it till I die, the only way I know how to deal with sin in my life is to confess it, and repent of it, and place it under the blood of Jesus Christ.
Now, beloved, of course, the Bible tells us two, about two cleansings. First of all, we are positionally cleansed. The day you come to Jesus confessing your sin, repenting of your sin, receiving Jesus as you Savior and Lord, positionally God see you as if you never sinned because he sees through the prism of Jesus, positionally. But then the Bible talks about daily cleansing, continuous cleansing sometimes maybe even more than once a day. And the reason I often say confess as soon as you realize you've sinned is because that way Satan does not have a hold over you. "Oh, remember when you did this back in this". Say, "Satan, buzz off, I repented of that sin. I confessed it".
Positionally cleansed by daily cleansing. How do you do that? Again, the Word of God tells us Ephesians chapter 5, verse 26, "By washing of the water of the Word of God". Here it comes again. Spending time in the Word of God. Verse 13, the Word corrects us. "Keep your servant from deliberately", or the old translation said, "presumptuous sin". We commit that presumptuous sin when we sin, not only knowingly and deliberately, but also stay in sin, that is, presuming on God to forgive us without confession and without repentance.
And in the New Testament, all sins are forgiven through the cross of Jesus Christ, all sins. But when you deliberately, knowingly, and then continuously remain in sin, you're basically inviting the consequences of that sin to stick with you. You're getting yourself removed from the boundary of the mercy of God. Oh God, verse 14, is a prayer that I pray often. I pray it here, I pray it daily. We're gonna pray that prayer together. "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our rock and my redeemer".