His dad traveled and would bring home souvenirs to the boys. After one trip, Pastor Brandon greeted his father and quickly asked him, "What did you bring me?” His dad replied, “I did not have time to get you anything this time.” Brandon stomped around and acted out his attitude at which his father said, ”My presence should be enough.” That same statement applies to our heavenly Father-His presence “should be enough.” Pastor Brandon Harrison entitled his message “The Present of His Presence: The Gift of God.” He focused on “the value of God, the impact of God, the power of God.” (VIP) In looking at the value of God, Pastor Brandon used two sports illustrations of where the value of two men was evident in their monetary impact. For example, when Deion Sanders moved to coach at the University of Colorado their merchandise sales went up in one day to $49000 vs $7000 before. LeBron James changing teams affected the teams’ value and the cities themselves.
“The data revealed that James’ presence in both cities had a huge impact on their local economies by boosting restaurant revenue, ticket sales, and job creation. According to the report, the number of eateries and bars within a mile of the stadium where James was based at the time increased by 13%. In turn, the employment within those establishments increased by 23.5%. While, on the other hand, those numbers dropped when James was not on either team.” (https: www.blackenterprise.com ) What these two illustrations show is the value of these two men. How do they relate to God? Pastor Brandon asked this very pertinent question,”What is God’s presence worth to you? At home do you have a place for God?” Do you value God on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday? The Apostle Peter showed how he valued Jesus when the beggar in Acts 3:6 asked him for money. He answered,”I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, get up and walk.” (NLT) Peter gave the beggar what he valued most, Jesus, and it changed his life. In addition in Luke 2:10b- 11, an angel appeared to the shepherds and said:
”Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news that will bring great joy
to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah the Lord-has been
born in Bethlehem, the city of David.” (NLT)
The Lord came to earth to save us. He was/is the perfect, unblemished Lamb. The only
acceptable sacrifice that takes away our confessed sins. “When we see the value of something, we will sacrifice.” God saw us as valuable. He sacrificed His Son to redeem us. With that fact what have you done today to show Him how you value Him? His next point is the impact of God’s presence. Pastor Brandon had a “conscious awareness” of God in his life at five years old. After thirty years of learning about God and leaning into God, a person can be complacent with the familiarity. But God…. As an adult you often hit bumps in the
road of life, and you also see God’s impact on your life. As the song says:
“Cause all my life you have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God.”
God wants to impact every aspect of your life. He is Emmanuel-God with us. He says in
Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” With a Savior like that, why do we worry? Also from Psalm 91:1-2:
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.”
When we read these verses, they show us what He can and does do. He is a shelter; gives rest, is a refuge, is trusted. Finally, the power of God’s presence “changes situations and people.” Romans 8:37-38 states:
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming
victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever
separate us from God’s love. Neither death
nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither
our fears for today nor our worries about
tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can
separate us from God’s love.”
We are more than conquerors, and nothing can divide us from God’s love.
The reminder is that God is the gift. So often “we want the gift from God instead of realizing the gift of God.” His names tell us of who He is “Jehovah Jireh-the Lord provides Emmanuel-God with us Abba Father-daddy Jehovah Shalom-God is peace” Ponder Him. Sit with Him. Let His presence fill you up. The big idea Pastor Brandon wants us to remember is “Value who God is over what He gives. God’s presence is enough.” With that big idea in mind, may we be salt and light in this dark and sad world.
Written by Larry and Annette Linthicum