It's A Good Day!
I Peter 3:8-12

Some years ago Perry Como had a hit record titled, "It's A Good Day!"
"Oh, it's a good day, for singing a song,
And it's a good day for moving along.
Yes, it's a good day, how could anything go wrong?
It's a good day from morning till night."

We would like all days to be good days, but there are days that are not very good.
That are some ways to know that you are having a bad day.

You know that you are having a bad day when:
Your horn sticks on the highway behind 32 Hell's Angels.
Your twin sister forgets your birthday.
All you get on Valentine's Day is a card addressed "Occupant."

Your air conditioner breaks down right in the middle of a heat wave.
It costs more to fill up your car with gas than it did to buy it.
You cram four hours for a test that you think will be given tomorrow, but you find out
that it will be a week from tomorrow.

You seal an envelope before you put in the letter.
You put both contacts in the same eye.
Your income tax refund check bounces.
Someone says you look good for 40, and you're 25.

There are bad days, but our Bible passage tells us how every day can be a good day.

1 Peter 3:8-12: "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic,
love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called
so that you may inherit a blessing.
For 'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips
from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil
.'"

Many people dread life for they have more bad days than good ones.
Jesus said in John 10:10: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Or as The Message says:"...more and better life than they ever dreamed of."
Every day can be a good day because God is good -- not just
because our circumstances are good.

In verse twelve there are three wonderful truths about the goodness of God.
This verse speaks about God's eyes, God's ears, and God's face.

Many have wondered what God looks like.
No human being has ever seen God, so we don't know what He looks like.
There is a story about a little boy drawing pictures.
His mother asked him, "What are you drawing?"
He said, "I'm drawing a picture of God."
She said, "But, honey, nobody knows what God looks like."
He looked up and said, "They will when I get through."

The use of these three physical qualities are simply word pictures to teach us that God is good!
And because God is good every day can be a good day!

Every Day is Good Because God's Eyes Are Watching Us!

Verse 12 says, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous."
Everyone who is in Christ have been declared by God to be righteous.
So, if we are in Christ and Christ is in us then God is watching us!
He sees everything that we do!

On the back of a one dollar bill, there are two circles representing the official seal
of the United States of America.
In the left circle there is an unfinished pyramid to represent the American enterprise is never completed.

The Latin below the pyramid, novus ordo seclorum, is means "a new order for the world."
The Latin above the pyramid, annuity coeptis, means "God has blessed our undertaking."
The founders of our nation also wanted to assure us that our great nation could never have been
established without the help of Almighty God.

Just below the statement about God there is an eye surrounded by light beams radiating outward.
This is often called "the all seeing-eye," however, the founders of our nation never used that term
to describe it.
They included it because it is an ancient symbol to portray that God is constantly watching
over the affairs of this world.

The Bible states clearly that God is watching the affairs of this world.
"The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good."
(Proverbs 15:3)
Most of us have had the feeling that someone was watching us.
It is true!
God is watching me and you.
He never takes His eyes off of us -- He is always watching everything we do.

There was a burglar who broke into a house one night, and in the darkness of the house,
he heard a voice saying, "Jesus sees you."

But he took a few more steps and heard the same voice again saying, "Jesus sees you."

The voice was coming from the kitchen, so he eased up to the door, and again
the voice said, "Jesus sees you."

He flashed his flashlight toward the voice and was relieved to see it was a talking parrot
in his cage saying those words.
He said, "You stupid parrot, you scared me to death."

Turning on the kitchen light, he was shocked to see a large Doberman standing beneath
the parrot's cage growling ferociously a showing his sharp teeth.
He looked at the parrot just in time to hear him say, "Sic him, Jesus."

God is watching us, but He's not watching us to say, "Gotcha!"
Some picture God as a policeman who is watching from heaven just to catch people
doing something enjoyable or entertaining.
And when He does, He shakes His Divine finger and says, "Now, stop that!"

God isn't watching to hurt us.
He's watching to help us!
The Bible says in II Chronicles 16:9: "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth
to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him
."
Wow! Isn't that wonderful!

God is always searching for men, women, teenagers, and children who will commit their hearts to Him.
When He sees that in us, He will provide the resources to do what He gives us to do.
He's watching us because He loves us.

Isn't it wonderful that He sees each one of us although there are billions of people on this earth.
God watches us as if we were the only one in His vision.
When God looks at us, it is a look of love.
Each one of us can say that we are the apple of His eye.
God uses the phrase, "apple of my eye" three times to describe how precious we are to Him.

God gave this promise through the prophet Zechariah:
"Whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye." (Zechariah 2:8)
God sees you, and He loves you!
He really cares.
He sees our bad attitudes, and He still loves us.
He sees our aches and pains.
He sees our every need.
It is a always a good day when we know God eyes are upon us!.

Every Day is A Good Day When We Know That God Hears Everything We Say!

Verse 12 says, "His ear is attentive"
Not only is God watching us, He is also listening, to us.

God hears what we say to others.
The Bible says in verse 10 that to have a good day, we must guard our speech.
Verse 10 says, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and
his lips from deceitful speech
."

Verse 9 instructs us to repay evil with good.
We must not insult others, even when we've been insulted.
Proverbs 15: 1 says: "A soft answer turns away wrath."

Do you remember the words: "Sticks and stones may break my bones; but words will never hurt me."
But that's not so!
The truth is that words can hurt us much more than sticks and stones.

I saw a statement that said:
"Be careful with your words
In a matter of seconds
You may inflict profound wounds
That may take years to heal
."

We should memorize this prayer from Psalms and pray it whenever we are about to say the wrong thing:
"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3)

We must talk in a way every day that would please Him, and that would be a good day for us
and our family and friends.

God is always listening to what we say to others, and He hears us when we talk to Him.
He always answers prayer.
Sometimes people pray, and when they don't get the answer they want they wonder,
"Is God really listening to me?"

He is always listening, but that doesn't mean He will always grant your requests.
God always answers our prayers.
Sometimes, He answers, "No!"
Sometimes, He answers, "Yes!"
And sometimes, He answers, "Wait!"

One pastor says that when you pray, God responds in several ways:
"When you ask for something and the request is not right, God answers: No.
When you ask for something and you aren't right, God answers: Grow!
When you ask for something and the timing is not right, God answers: Slow.
But when you ask for something and the request, the timing, and you are right, God answers: Go
!"

Sometimes, we cry out to God when we are facing a struggle.
"The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them...the Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit
." (Psalm 34:17-18)
We need to remember that.

God is listening to the broken-hearted.
He is is listening to our cries for help.
God is waiting for us to call out to Him.
God wants us to bring our prayers to Him.

God says, "Call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things that you don't know."
(Jeremiah. 33:3)

A.W. Tozer. In his book, The Pursuit of God, wrote:
"An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children.
He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one
He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others
."

Wow!
What a mighty God we serve!
It's a good day every day when we realize God is listening to us.

It's a Good Day When We Seek God's Face.

We've talked about God's eyes, and God's ears, but verse 12 also says something
about God's face.
In verse 12 we read, "But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

God's face is a reference to His glory.
The Bible tells us about the importance of seeking God's face - that is, His glory.
We seek God's face when we seek His will.
In II Chronicles 7:14 God says, "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear...
"

When we sin, we lose sight of God's face.
The Bible says when we walk in the light as He is in the light; we have fellowship with God
and with each other.
But when we sin, we turn away from the light of God's face.

The prophet Isaiah said: "Your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you
." (Isaiah 59:2)
When we sin, we are looking away from God's holiness and glory, and when we do, we lose sight of His face.
We become miserable when we turn away from His face.
So, when we sin, we must confess our sins and He will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us, and bless us.
(1 John 1:9)

The Psalmist says, "Your face, oh Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me!"
(Psalm 27:8-9)
God doesn't play games with us.
He says when we seek Him, we will find Him.
When we face an important decision about which way to go, just look for His face - His glory,
and we'll be going in the right direction.
That's why God says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with my eye."
(Psalm 32:8)
In order for God to guide us with His eye, we must be seeking His face -- His will.

The Bible says the glory of God is found in the face of Jesus.
As long as we can see Jesus, we know we are walking in the light.
The Bible says: "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine
in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ
."
(II Corinthians 4:6)

Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, relates a story that enables us to understand
something about God's face.
He writes about a sailing ship caught in a terrible storm and the passengers below deck
were alarmed the ship might sink.
Finally, one of the men, against orders, went up on the deck and made his way to the pilot at the wheel.

The seaman was lashed to his post to keep from being swept overboard, but when he saw
that the passenger was so frightened, he gave him a reassuring smile.
The passenger made his way back to the others and said, "I have seen the face of the pilot,
and he smiled at me. All is well. Do not be afraid
."

In Psalm 4:6 David sings, "Let the light of your face shine on us."
The best translation of that phrase "light of your face" is "smile."

God is in control of this universe, and we should be looking for His smile.
In the midst of pain and evil the Bible says, "The One enthroned in heaven laughs!" (Psalm 2:4)
God never panics -- He is always in control.

God is good and He's watching.
God is good and He's listening.
God is good we must seek His face.

We must realize how very much that God cares for us.
Jesus said that God notices when a single sparrow falls to the earth.
Then He said, "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows
." (Luke 12:7)

One hundred years ago, Civilla Martin wrote the words to a song that is still true:
"I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free!
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me
!"

Have a good day because God is good and He's watching you.
Have a good day because God is good and His ear is attentive to you.
Have a good day God is good and He has invited you to seek His face.
Every day can be a good day because God is good!

Invitation:

Leave It There
"If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If your body suffers pain and your health you can't regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don't forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care;
He will never leave you then, He'll go with you to the end.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there."

This is what Jesus did when He was on earth.
His problem was that of being "made sin" for the salvation of man.
Jesus knew that His Father could have delivered Him out of the hands of the Jews and of the Romans.
Jesus could have commanded 12 legions of angels and escaped.

But if He was to be made sin, and sin was to be punished in His body,
it meant that He must be separated from the Father.
So, the Son of God was faced with this problem which was the greatest problem of His human life on earth.

The one thing from which He shrank was being separated from the Father.
So, look what He did.
He did precisely what Habakkuk did.
He prayed and said, "O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me:
nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt
." (Matthew 26: 39)

In effect, Jesus was saying: " I do not understand it, but if it is Your will, I am going on."
He took the problem that He did not understand to God, and left it there.

So, let us take our burdens to the Lord and leave it there!

(Now I would ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes and look to God.
I would tell them that I am raising my right hand and ask them to do that also.
Then I would ask them to think of that burden that they are carrying,
and grab it in their hand and close their hand upon that burden.
Then, I would ask them to bring their hand down and lay that burden down, and leave it there,
and God will take it.

And I would ask them to take another burden, and leave it there!
Then, I would urge them not to pick it up again, but trust in God who will take that burden
and whatever He does with it will be best for us!)

Sermon adapted from many sources by Dr. Harold L. White