Amen: God’s Little Word with a Great Big Meaning

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Amen: God’s Little Word with a Great Big Meaning

1 Chronicles 16:23-36; Deuteronomy 27:15-16;

Matthew 6:9-13; John 3:3-5; Revelation 3:14

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - August 12, 1012

*We say “amen” all the time, but usually we don’t even think about it. Most of the time we treat “amen” sort of like a punctuation mark. We say our prayers; then say “amen,” and it just means “O.K. -- the prayer’s over.” But “amen” means a whole lot more than that, and the more we look at this little word, the more we see how important it really is.

*The word “amen” is found 78 times in our English Bibles. The first time we see it is in the Old Testament Book of Numbers, and the last time we see it is in Revelation 22:21.

“Amen” is the last word in your Bible. It is God’s last word on His Word. And it means “surely, truly, firmly, so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled.” Let’s look into God’s Word this morning and see why this little word is so important.

1. First: Our amens are important for what they say to God.

[1] For example, our amen can say, “God, we agree!”

*We agree with your Word. We agree with what you say about yourself. David’s great song in 1 Chronicles 16 is a good place to see this agreement.

*For example, in vs. 23 we agree that all the earth should “sing to the Lord,” and “proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.”

*In vs. 24&25 we agree that we should:

24. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.

25. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.

*We also agree with David’s words in vs. 31-36:

31. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns.''

32. Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; let the field rejoice, and all that is in it.

33. Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth.

34. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

35. And say, "Save us, O God of our salvation; gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.''

36. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting!

*Then in vs. 36, because they agreed with these things, all of God’s people said, "Amen!'' and praised the Lord.

*In short, “God, we agree that You are wonderful.” And we can agree that God is wonderful, even when we are going through the hardest times of life.

*Gary Griffith gives us a perfect example. This young Music Minister was struck with an aggressive form of brain cancer, while he served at First Baptist Church in Swartz. Gary went home to be with the Lord on October 1, 2008.

*Just five days before he died, Gary wrote a prayer update. He did not know that this would be his last testimony for our wonderful God. Here’s part of what Gary said:

*“I have tolerated the first 20 (radiation) treatments very well, only being physically ill or in pain 3 times for any significant amount of time during those 4 weeks. That finished Monday. Tuesday began a more intense, focused beam of radiation. Because of the low dose of steroid I was on, I have not been able to tolerate another treatment of what will need to be least 20 of these more focused radiation treatments.

*Why I am messaging you now: I very much believe that God has answered prayer in that I am still here, with my family, praising God! Your prayers have moved God's heart.

*I am not in desperation. I am in love and adoration of my Savior, Father and the Spirit, all working mightily in people's lives around me. But I am asking you to pray for me one more time that God would protect the swelling of my brain as I take this last set of radiation treatments.

*I don't presume on God to know the resolution of my current situation and life, but I know the Lord. He loves me, and there is no fear in moving toward Him.

*Of course, I don't want to leave my sons or my beautiful wife, but God would take care of them and use all circumstances of life for their good.

*Know this, that even as I ask you to pray for me, I firmly believe there is no risk in abandoning ourselves to God and that the Father will use circumstances, pain and suffering, to produce godliness in our lives. Righteousness, a little more freedom from sin, being a little more like Jesus, is worth any pain, discomfort or chastisement from the Father!! -- It proves you are His child, and He sends more of His Spirit.

*The joy of my heart is to praise my God in song and lead others to do the same!

-Praise God!

-Shouting His Praises

Gary Griffith”

*And all of God’s people say, “Amen!” -- We agree that our God is wonderful!

-On the good days and the bad, we agree that our God is wonderful.

-Our amen is important, because it says, “God, we agree.”

[2] And because it says, “God, we accept Your commands.”

*A good place to see this meaning is in the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 27. The Children of Israel were about to come into the Promised Land. And we see starting in vs. 9:

9. Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, "Take heed and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the Lord your God.

10. Therefore you shall obey the voice of the Lord your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.''

*Then in vs. 15&16 we begin to see some of God’s commandments and curses:

15. “Cursed is the one who makes any carved or molded image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret. And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’

16. Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”

*Twelve times in this chapter the Lord spelled out His curse upon various sins. And each time He commanded the people to say “Amen!”

*The meaning is, “God we accept your commands. We accept your judgments. We don’t understand it all. But God, we know that your way is the right way. And by your grace, we will obey.”

*Are there any areas of your life where you are still rebelling against God?

*Are there any areas where you are saying:

-“God, I’ll take care of this.

-I know best here.

-You just need to stay out of my business here, Lord.”?

*Are you telling God, “No.”? -- Jeff Strite reminds us that: “God often calls us to things that don’t fit our schedule, don’t fit our agenda, don’t fit our ideas of what should be done.”

*Jeff added this personal example: “We have a neighbor boy. He’s a brat. He’s insolent, arrogant, disrespectful, a troublemaker. There have been times that I have thought of what I might do if met this kid in a dark alley, when no one could witness my response to his rude behavior.

*But you know what the Word of God tells me to do? -- In Luke 6:27-28 Jesus tells me:

27. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28. bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

*Then in Luke 6:36, Jesus tells us to “be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (1)

*We don’t understand it all. And sometimes it’s hard to follow. But God, we know your way is the right way. And by your grace, we will obey.

-So all of God’s people say, “Amen!” -- “Lord, we accept Your commands.”

*Our amen is important, because it says, “God, we accept Your commands.”

[3] And because it says, “God we believe that You answer our prayers.”

*We see “Amen” used this way in the most famous prayer, the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-13. There Jesus said:

9. “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.

10. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11. Give us this day our daily bread.

12. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

13. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

*“Amen, Lord! -- So be it, may it be fulfilled. Lord, we believe that you will answer our prayers according to your infinite goodness, infinite power and perfect will.”

-So all of God’s people say, “Amen!”

*Our amens are important for what they say to God.

-“God, we agree.”

-“God, we accept Your commands.”

-And “God we believe You answer our prayers.”

2. But God’s amens are also important for what they say to us.

*And this is hard for us to see in our English translations, but God’s amens say, “I want your attention!”

*God uses this word “amen” to get our attention. The English word “amen” is found 51 times in the New Testament. But in the original language, God used this word “amen” 101 more times in the New Testament. And every time He was urgently trying to get our attention. In the KJV these “amens” were translated as “verily.” Modern translations use phrases like “I tell you the truth” or “most assuredly.”

*We must be careful not to lose the passion in God’s heart as He tries to get our attention. I am going to give you some examples, plugging in the Lord’s original “amen.”

*A good place to start is John 3:3-5, where Jesus was talking to Nicodemus:

3. Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4. Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?''

5. Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

*In the Living Bible:

3. Jesus replied, “With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this: Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God.”

4. “Born again!”' exclaimed Nicodemus. “What do you mean? How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?”

5. Jesus replied, “What I am telling you so earnestly is this: Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

*Now hear Jesus in John 5:24, “Amen, amen, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

-In John 6:47, Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

-In John 8:34, Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”

-In John 8:51, Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

-And hear Jesus in Matt 18:3, “Amen, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

*In all these places and many more, God is urgently trying to get our attention. He wants us to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we must turn away from sin, and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

-Amen is important, because God uses it to say, “I want your attention!”

3. But amen is also important, because God Himself is the great “Amen.”

*One of the most important things I found out about amen is this: It is one of the names that God has chosen for Himself. In Revelation 3 Jesus called out to the lukewarm Christians of Laodicea.

*The Lord warned them to repent. Jesus wanted them (and us) to be on fire for Him. And in Revelation 3:14, Jesus began by telling them: “These things says the AMEN, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.”

*Jesus Christ is “THE AMEN!” -- And this name makes sense when we understand that the original root word for “amen” has word pictures that include:

-Standing firm.

-Faithfully supporting.

-Holding something up like the pillars in a building.

-Taking care of a child like a foster-father or foster-mother

-And being nourished or carried by a reliable, faithful nurse.

*As “the Amen,” Jesus Christ wants to hold you up, and take care of you. So we should all say “amen.” But infinitely more important, we should know the Amen, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior!

*Jesus loves you so much that He even died on the cross for your sins, and He rose again from the dead!

*So, if you will trust in Jesus, He will save your soul.

-He will forgive your sins.

-He will nourish you and carry you in this world.

-Then one day He will carry you all the way to Heaven to live with Him forever.

*Nothing is more important! -- As Roger Thomas says: “A person is not really ready to live until he is ready to die.” (2)

*Daniel Webster was one of the most outstanding Senators in our history. He was also a committed Christian. And in the dark of night on Oct. 24, 1852, Daniel Webster was dying. He was ready to go.

*His doctor was a good man and good friend named Jeffries. Dr. Jeffries had given as much medicine as possible. He realized that death was near and he picked up an old hymn book that Webster had often used. Dr. Jeffries then began reading the words of one of Webster’s favorite hymns:

-“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins

-And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

*Dr. Jeffries read every verse, and when he got to the last, he saw that Webster’s lips were moving, though no sound came out. The words Daniel Webster mouthed were these:

-“When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

-Then in a nobler, sweeter song,

-I’ll sing thy power to save.

-I’ll sing thy power to save,

-I’ll sing thy power to save.”

*Then the doctor looked down at his friend, and Daniel Webster spoke 3 final words: “Amen, Amen, Amen!” (3)

*God’s little word really does have a great big meaning.

*And when we say “amen,” we are saying:

-“Lord, you are ‘The Amen,’ and we want to agree with You.

-Your way is the right way for our lives.

-We believe that you hear our prayers.

*We believe that you hold us up, take care of us, love us and forgive our sins.

-We believe that you even died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead.

*May the Lord help us to say “amen” to all that He is, and all that He wants us to do in our lives.

(1) SermonCentral sermon “Hearing God When He Speaks” by Jeff Strite - 1 Samuel 3:1-8

(2) SermonCentral sermon “Let All God’s People Say AMEN” by Roger Thomas - Matt 6:9-13

(3) ibid

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