Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Approval of the Lord's
Eyes, Ears, and Facial Expression. 1 Pet 3:12

NAS
12 "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (NAS)

KJV
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (KJV)

Introduction
The story is told about a man who was up on the roof of his house repairing the t.v. antenna. It was a windy day and he felt very insecure. So, he asked his son to det the long rope out of the ,garage, tie it to the oak tree and pitch it up to him. The boy did as his father asked and threw the rope up to his dad. The father tied the rope around his waist and walked across the top of the roof. The rope was taut and he felt totally secure. What he did not know was that his son had tied the rope to the bumper of his mom's car and not to the tree. The mom, not realizing what was going on, got in her car and backed out. Arms and legs went flying through the air. The man was sincere in feeling secure but his rope was tied to the wrong source.

Jesus is the only one you can tie your life to and remain secure regardless of your own mistakes,-or those of others. No matter what you walk through, He is not going to change. He is always there, always sufficient, and always consistent. The unchanging Christ came into this world to anchor us to Himself. No storm can push Christ around. Therefore, to be anchored to Christ is to know ultimate security. He is the solid rock. I have been to the bottom - it is solid rock!

This boy had his father's approval only in part, and not for very long. I want us to look at the text with the intent of receiving the Lords approval 9 in his ears, ears, and facial expression.
 
 

1.    The Approval of the Lord's Eyes. v 12 a 


12 "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
1. ophthalmos ^3788^, akin to opsis, "sight," probably from a root signifying "penetration, sharpness" (Curtius, Gk. Etym.) (cf. Eng., "ophthalmia," etc.). is used (a) of the physical organ, e. g., <Matt. 5:38>; of restoring sight, e. g., <Matt. 20:33>; of God's power of vision, <Heb. 4:13; 1 Pet. 3:12>; of Christ in vision, <Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12>; of the Holy Spirit in the unity of Godhood with Christ,

A.    Approval as He Sees the Righteous Faith. Matt 9:2
And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven." (NAS)
 

B.     Approval as He Sees the Righteous in their Giving.
Luke 21:2-4 2 And He saw a certain poor widow putting in two small copper coins.   3 And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all {of them;} 4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on." (NAS)
 

C.  Approval as He Sees the Righteous in their Unfaithfulness.
Luke 22:60-61 60 But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, a cock crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, "Before a cock crows today, you will deny Me three times." (NAS)

Heb 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (NAS)
 

Illustration
In 1984, a woman in Bogata, Columbia, rushed her 10 month old boy, who had severe dysentery, to a local hospital and left him over night. The next morning when she came for her child his head including his eyes were bandaged. There were specks of dried blood on his face. When she asked what was wrong with her child she was bluntly told he was dying.

She rushed him to another hospital where the doctors removed the bandages. Upon doing so the doctor said, "They have stolen his eyes." The child was a victim of an illegal cornea trade. She was told she was fortunate. Most parents were simply told their child died.

The spiritual eyes of most Americans have been stolen. When Christ was taken from public education we robbed a generation of their spiritual sight.

Application

That is a horrible story.    Let me tell you one even worse;  some people think it is all right to suck a baby brains out that is in the birth canal.    I want you to remember that story when you have an opportunity to vote for some one who believes it is all right to perform an abortion especially those who think it is all right to perform partial birth abortions.

The Lords Eyes can not be plucked out nor can they be hindered. He see the deeds of the Righteous.

2 Chr 16:9 9 "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars." (NAS)
 
 

2.    The Approval of the Lord's Ears. v 12 b 


12 "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (NAS)

Strongs # 3775 ous (ooce);
apparently a primary word; the ear (physically or mentally):   KJV-- ear.

Introduction
I was reading about Mohammed Ali. He got on an air plane not too long ago and was standing up in the aisle, talking and laughing and entertaining the passengers. Finally, the stewardess came back to him and said, "Mr. Ali, you'll have to take a seat and fasten your seat belt because the plane is about to take off." Well, Mohammed Ali looked at her with a snarl, and said, "Honey, superman don't need no seat belt." She looked at him and said, "Yeah, and superman don't need no air plane either. Now sit down and buckle up."   He did because his ears heard one of authority.  He did what she said.

We need to seek the approval of the Lord's ears.
 

A.     Approval as He Hears the Prayer of the Righteous. Rev 5:8
8 And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (NAS)

        1.    The Lord answers prayer three ways.
                a.     YES, NO, WAIT.

Illustration
They built a raunchy nightspot right next door to Saint Lukewarm Baptist Church of God in Christ. The good folks of SLBCOGIC decided to start a prayer vigil. Amazingly, the night-club's business dwindled so much they had to close the doors.

This wasn't altogether good news, you see; the owner of the nightclub brought a lawsuit against the members of SLBCOGIC, accusing them of ruining his business with their prayers. The attorneys for the church argued there was no way their prayers could have had any effect on the poor performance of the club.

The judge agreed. He ruled in favour of Saint Lukewarm, saying, "While the nightclub owner strongly believes in the power of prayer, the church membership does not."
 

B.      Approval as He  Hears the Prayer of the Humble. Luke 18:10-14
10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. 11 "The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. 12 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' 13 "But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted." (NAS)
 

C.      Approval as He Hears the Confession of Faith. Matt 16:16-17
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal {this} to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (NAS))

Illustration
This week we had Bible School. Linda Webb did a great job of being Principal, and director of the 1st and 2nd grade class. We had several great directors and helpers. Dee Ripko did a very good job with the Carnival.

On Thursday we had an evangelistic service. I simple share the ABCs of Salvation. A = Admit your sin,
B = Believe Jesus will forgive your sin, and C = Commit your life to Christ. I then asked the children who wanted to make their decision for Christ to come and stand by me. 10 Children came forward.

I went to the prayer room and talked with all of the children 2 at a time and lead each of them in a prayer of commitment. Many of them I believe really knew what they were doing. Some I will recommend they wait a while before being baptized.

Application

It was a privilege for me to hear their professions of faith. But most important the Lord heard their prayer. This verse says ". . . and His ears attend to their prayer, . . . " They are just beginning their journey on the way of righteousness.
 
 

3.    The Approval of the Lord's . . Facial Expression. v 12 c 


12 "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

A,   Approval as The Humble Seek the Lord's Face. 2 Chr 7:14
14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (NAS)

    1.    Three rules to follow to keep from having pride:

            Do not be impressed, or depressed by what others say about you.
            Do not be impressed with yourself, your position, or your possessions.
            Do not speak forth your own value.

A Valuable Word:     To be humble means you are teachable - how teachable are you?
 

Illustration
A pastor acquaintance , and a fellow pastor committed to periodically asking me the following questions:

1.    Have you been with a member of the opposite sex this week in such a way that was inappropriate or
        could have looked to others that you were using poor judgement?

2.    Have you been completely above reproach in all your financial dealings with week?

3.    Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material this week?

4.    Have you let any root of bitterness go unconfessed in your life this week?

5.    Have you spent daily time in prayer and in the scripture this week?

6.    Have you fulfilled the mandate of your calling this week?

7.    Have you taken time off to be with your family this week?

8.    Have you just lied in answering these questions?
 

Application

I am surprised to hear that about that pastor. But it tells me he desires to be a Godly man, and he is not to proud to ask for help.

1 Pet 5:6
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (NAS)
 
 

Do you Desire the Approval of the Lord's Eyes, Ears, and Facial Expression.