GOD’S AMAZING GRACE “The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.” Psalm 145:8
“The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.” Psalm 145:8
You can’t understand the Christian life at all unless you understand grace.
Dick Halverson, who was Chaplain of the United States Senate once defined grace this way: “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make god love you less.”
FIVE ASPECTS OF SAVING GRACE
G—GRACE IS GOD’S GIFT TO ME.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23, 24
Grace is the fundamental difference between Christianity and every other religion.
Jesus Christ already did it. He paid for your salvation on the cross and now it’s a free gift to you.
R—RECEIVE GOD’S GRACE BY FAITH
God’s gift is received by faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so than no one may boast.” Ephesians 2: 8, 9
“For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace.” Romans 4:16a
II Samuel 9:1-13—Young Disabled Boy named Mephisbosheth.
A—AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE
“So that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Romans 4:16b
“For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
C—GOD’S AMAZING GRACE COMES THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
Because Jesus paid the price of admission.
“But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” Romans 5:15
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Galatians 2:21
E—GOD’S GRACE IS EXTENDED THROUGHOUT ETERNITY.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30:18
LUKE 15 THE PRODIGAL SON/ THE SCANDALOUS FATHER
Perry Noble says it best: “We should make it hard for people to get to hell from our zip code.”
Scribes – while the Pharisees were the protector of the reputation of Israel’s God, the Scribes were the protector of the reputation of Israel’s law.
Tax- gatherers - the Living Bible paraphrases these next terms – dishonest tax collectors and other notorious sinners.
Sinners- the people of the street whom the Pharisees looked upon with contempt because they did not know the Law – John 7: 33, 45-49.
One author put it this way, “The younger and infamous prodigal son, embodies the utter madness, the blinding insanity that seeps into our souls and shrouds our minds when greed becomes our god, when we decide that there’s only one line worth embracing as a life mantra: Give me! Everything goes south for that young kid hell-bent on a good time. Steely-eyed, he demands his family inheritance.”
The Sound of Silence from the Older Brother
Q. What steps are you taking to prevent a ‘parting?’
Q. How are you living out James 5: 19, 20? ‘My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins.’
Where is the ministry of reconciliation in your life? ‘Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.’ II Corinthians 5: 17-19
‘A recent survey uncovered a scandal. Nine out of ten people who have walked away from churches were never asked why the left. It’s an indictment that so many leavers said that no one seemed to notice they’d gone. That’s careless.’ Leslie Francis
Vs. 11-13 -- The Far and Distant Country -- Godly Fathers Give Their Children Permission to Fail
There are seven phrases that describe the younger son’s life after he left home:
He squandered his estate with loose living.
He had spent everything
A severe famine occurred in that country.
He began to be in need.
He was sent in to the fields to feed swine.
He was longing to fill his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating.
No one was giving anything to him.
Four Definitions of Sin
Breaking God’s law.
Rebellion against God.
Ignoring God and Neglecting Other People
Sin is breaking a relationship. Vs. 14-19 -- The Return Home Godly Fathers Always Hope and Pray for the Return of their Children
“He began to be in need’ vs. 14 – One of the first evidence of insanity is loss of memory.
Q. Why doesn’t the Son go home?
Henry Drummond said it so well: ‘How many prodigals are kept out of the Kingdom of God by the unlovely characters of those who profess to be inside.’ Godly Fathers Protect Their Children from Unnecessary Shame and Ridicule
Rob Parsons put it memorably: “We need to pray that the returning prodigals will meet the Father before they bump into the elder brother.
***The Crucial question why does this younger son return? What makes this young man come to his senses?
A. Dale Bruener writes, ‘The younger son is brought to his senses because of the memory of the Father.’ He thinks about what his father is really like, how he would react, what he would say and he makes a decision to come home.
The younger son rehearses a speech way before he takes off for home. Three parts to his speech:
Confession of sin.
Affirmation of the consequences of sin.
His offer to pay for the debt.
Vs. 20-24 -- The Scandalous Father –A Stunning Welcome– Godly Fathers Shower Their Children with Love and Grace
When the Old Testament prophet sought for words to describe the utter humiliation of God’s people, he used the imagery of bare legs to portray their shame: ‘Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, Uncover the legs, cross the rivers, Your nakedness will be uncovered, Your shame will be exposed. Isaiah 47: 2-3 There was a transfer of shame.
The father lets his younger son say the first part of the speech. The father lets his son say the second part of the speech. But notice carefully where the father cuts off his son’s speech. God will not hear our offer to pay the debt! Why? Because His Son (Jesus Christ) has paid the debt for our sins.
Rejoicing Father: Nothing is more important to a Godly Father than Loving His Children and Celebrating Their Return to Their Faith in God.
Everything the Father does in Jesus parable is culturally unexpected and scandalous.
‘My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins.’ James 5: 19, 20
Bibliography The Wycliffe Bible Commentary The Bible Knowledge Commentary The Exposition Commentary –Warren Wiersbe Luke- Volume Two – Kent Hughes The Gospel of Luke – William Barclay The New International Commentary on the New Testament – Geldenhuys Outline Studies in the Gospel of Luke –Griffith Thomas Mastering the New Testament –Bruce Larson Commentary on Luke –Marshall The Gospel According to Luke – Morgan Word Pictures in the New Testament – Robertson Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels—J.C. Ryle The Prodigal God –Timothy Keller What is the Father Like? – W. Phillip Keller The Parables of Jesus – James Montgomery Boice The Parables –Brad Young Good News About Prodigals – Tom Bisset Finding the Lost – Kenneth E. Bailey The Cross and the Prodigal – Kenneth E. Bailey Poet & Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes –Kenneth E. Bailey No Perfect People Allowed – John Burke They Like Jesus but Not the Church –Dan Kimball Creating a Prodigal Friendly Church – Jeff Lucas Will Your Prodigal come Home? Jeff Lucas
The Corona Virus and The Church and What It Is Teaching Us
The Holy Task of Listening and Caring—James 1:19
We Are Focusing on The Physical Needs of Our Church and Community.
We Are Really Beginning to Understand the Importance of a Small Group.
We Are Learning to Pray More for Our Ministry Than Our Misery.
We Are Learning That Most Ministry Happens and Should Happen Outside the Church Building.
We Are Learning How to Be Shepherds in Unique Ways.
We Are Living the “Oikos Principle”.
When believers are forced out of the context of “going to church”, when they are forced to stop “going to church,” they just might be compelled to start “being the church.”
95% of Christian conversions are generated through personal relationships that is shared between a believer and someone who is close to them.
Acts 10:1; 16:14, 15; 16:31-34
Don’t Look Back.
We are living in exile, separated from our place and local of worship, our traditions. This is our “exile moment”.
God is still calling us to love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. God is calling us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Loving God and loving our neighbors has always been radical.
Don’t look back—Look forward.
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
Psalm 133 UNITY
David’s Background Growing Up – neglect, favoritism, strife, discord, envy *I Sam. 16:6-13 – His brothers, father 17:28-30 – His oldest brother – Eliab
As A Young Man – Rage of jealousy, wrath, animosity, hatred, attempted murder *I Sam. 18:1-10 – Saul*19:8-10 – Saul – David became a target.
20:31:33 – Saul & Jonathan 23 – Saul *24 – Saul goes on a campaign with 3,000 men to take David’s life. 26 – Saul
As A Leader – Hostility, revenge *I Sam. 30:1-6 – David as a military leader II Sam. 2:18-3:6 – David fighting Saul’s left-over resistance – David walked into a divided nation. *3:1 *6:16 – Marital dissension, dealing with false accusations. 10:1-19 – Pressures and stress of maintaining a secure nation. Syrians got talked into a bad alliance. 11, 12 – Falling in sin, the cover-up, the confession, the scars 12:10 – The prophecy that the sword would never depart from his house.
As A Father II Sam. 13:1-14 – Dealing with incest, rape, molestation 13:20-30 – Domestic violence, murder 13:28-30 – Ammon and his brothers are killed by Absalom’s servants 14, 15 – Rocky relationship with his son Absalom 14:28 15:1-6 – Absalom’s conspiracy for a corporate take over 16:1-7 – Being harassed by Shimel 18:9-15 – Absalom is chased and murdered.
New Testament reveals its share of squabblesDisciples of Christ – Matt. 20:20-27 – Arguing over who is going to sit where in heaven Matt. 16:22 – Disputing with Christ John 21:20-22 – Questioning ministerial assignments Early Church – Acts 5:1-11 – Ananias and Sapphira – Lied about their tithe – Even the H.S. worked today like it did in the early church; their church parking lot would be full of hearts and ready to haul people away. 5:1,2 – First Church Board Meeting – There was lying; there was discord I Corinthians – Arrogance, immaturity Phil. 4:2 – Friction in the kitchen III John 10, 11 – Diotrephes--Power – monger
VS. 1 – Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity
Q. What keeps us from experiencing unity?
Selfishness, empty conceit, lack of humility—Philippians 2:1-8
Pleasures that wage war in your own body—lust; greed; ulterior motives (working on your own agenda); friendship with the world; lack of submission to God and your spiritual leaders—these are the source of division and quarrels—James 4:1-8
Satan is the source of division and quarrels—Matthew 13:39; 16:23
*Not difficult to experience unity for a short duration. But to maintain unity, harmony and peace for a long time requires God’s grace.
Interesting word picture - unity of the head and body; when the head and the body are of one mind. Unity beginning at the top – in leadership.
*True unity smells good.It permeates the environment around it.
Extravagance, abundance and generosity are key attributes of love and unity. The anointing of the high priest was marked by extravagance, abundance, generosity. “The fact that the holy anointing oil of the tabernacle and temple was never made in smaller quantities than 750 ounces of solids compounded with five quarts of oil, and was so profusely employed that when applied to Aaron’s head it flowed down over his beard and breast, to the very skirts of his garments.” Hugh Macmillan The Ministry of Nature.
John 17 – Christ’s High Priestly Prayer –
vs. 1-5 – Prays for Himself
6-19 Pray for His disciples
20- 26 Pray for all those yet to believe
21-23 At the heart of the prayer was the theme of unity.
Six blessings of unity – (1) goodness, (2) pleasure, (3) anointing, (4) dew, (5) God’s blessing, (6) eternal life.
*Only God can give eternal life Threefold repetition – Coming down – vs. 2a – descending Coming down – vs. 2b – descending Coming down – vs. 3a – descending
True Unity is First Vertical –
Begins with a relationship with God – peace Christ provides
Maintained by obedience to His word – Josh. 1:16-18
True unity, like all good gifts (James 1:17) comes from God.
What True Unity Is Not:
Unity is not mere union – Samson tied the tails of 300 foxes together and lit them on fire. Judges 15:4,5
Unity is not mere uniformity – Wearing the same uniform.
Unity is not unanimity - total agreement on all details.
Unanimity on earth is what the New Age movement calls an ‘altered reality’ . . . it doesn’t happen on this planet.
What True Unity Is:
Originates with God – Trinity (God the Father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit) Oneness, Diversity (?) Love.
Comes from God – John
We Imitate God – John 17:21
Our claim to belonging to the same family depends on our likeness to Christ – Matt. 5:9
Absence of Pride – Romans 12:3 – Unity and Humility are tied to each other
Spirit of Acceptance
Comment – Oh, the people in church are so shallow, I’m into deep open relationships. Where is the acceptance of someone who is just learning to be transparent and open up? Counseling – When my husband/wife gets his act together, then this relationship will happen. Question: How long has your life been totally together? Reality – pride, puffed up arrogance feeds discord and dissension. Humility precedes unity and preserves it. Deep Conviction of Your Need For Others.
Unity comes through regular, spirit-led, corporate worship – Ezra 3:1.
Unity involves compromise – Abraham and Lot.
Unity takes time and effort – It is never automatic or instantaneous.
Unity is centrifical to our Christian faith – I Cor. 1:10
Unity is the catalyst of corporate prayer – Matt. 18:19
Unity is the focal point, purpose, and driving force in sharing the gospel – Phil 1:27
Phil 2:1-11 – Unity is hard work.
“The Christian brotherhood is so unique, sacred and lasting, that a lack of unity is a disgrace.” Charles Spurgeon
PSALM 139 Experiencing God as Your Loving Creator (Part Two)
LIFE LESSON 5: GOD’S WORLD IS DARKENED BY SIN vs. 19-22
Author Max Lucado writes: “A few years back, three questions rocked my world. They came from different people in the span of a month.
Question 1: Had you been a German during World War II, would you have taken a stand against Hitler? Question 2: Had you lived in the South during the civil rights conflict, would you have taken a stand against racism? Question 3: When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day in which 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response?” The Psalm shifts the attention to the evil in this world and how it destroys the good God desires for so many, so he prayed an intense prayer. It is a prayer that expresses hatred for all that is evil and all that casts a dark shadow over the good God intends. Nehemiah 1: 1-4 Have you really sat down and thought long and hard about the condition our society is in? Have you really sat down and thought about how devastating alcohol, marijuana, speed and all the other drugs are to our society, what it is doing to our young people and even adults? “It is an act of profound faith to entrust one’s most precious hatreds to God, knowing they will be taken seriously.” Prayer is combat. Prayer brings us before God—and there, before God, we find ourselves grappling with “the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6: 12 There are hard-won Gethsemane struggles where we are locked in combat. When we take the Psalms as our guide, we find that people who pray have a lot of enemies, and that they spend a lot of their praying time dealing with them. Eugene Peterson writes: ‘There is hardly a page of the Psalms that isn’t left smoking by a pungent curse:
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer --10: 15
Upon the wicked He will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup—11: 6
For Thou wilt make them turn their back; Thou wilt aim with Thy bowstrings at their faces –21: 12
For God scattered the bones of him who encamped against you –53: 5
O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth –58: 6
May they be blotted out of the book of life, and may they not be recorded with the righteous—69: 28
So, pursue them with Thy tempest, and terrify them with Thy storm –83: 15
But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, and it entered into his body like water, and like oil into his bones—109: 18
He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country—110: 6
I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies—139: 22
Hate is our emotional link with the spirituality of evil. Our hate needs to be prayed, not suppressed. Jesus did not emerge from the wilderness to negotiate in sweet reasonableness but to do battle: “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12: 49
Do you hate what you see happening in our county and society?
The Psalmists identify the enemy and they respond in outrage. They hate what they see. Hate is often the first sign that we care. This in no way means that prayer legitimizes hate – it uses it. “For the wrath of man shall praise Thee; with a remnant of wrath Thou shalt gird Thyself. Psalm 76: 10 God hates evil. God hates haughty eyes, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers –Proverbs 6: 16-19 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate.’ Proverbs 8: 13 “For I hate divorce.” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So, take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2; 16 David looked at life and said, “There is no room for compromise: I have undivided loyalty to the Lord God of heaven.” David also saw that there is no room for inaction or neutrality. “In Germany the came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” Martin Niemoller
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 8 “Hate evil, you who love the Lord.” Psalm 97: 10 “Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate!” Amos 5: 15 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12: 9
“Hate, prayed, takes our lives to bedrock where the foundations of justice are being laid.” Eugene Peterson
Because God is holy, righteous and pure I denounce and hate___________________. Because God hates evil and wickedness I will_________________________________. Search Me You Must Choose Prayer: Lord, help me not buy the lie the world hands me. Give me the courage to align my life with You, whatever that means, and to choose to believe what you declare about me rather than what I can see in the light of this dark world. Lord, please show me my purpose in Your plan. Help me cooperate with your plan so that it can be fulfilled. Amen!
PSALM 139 Experiencing God as Your Loving Creator
Intro—What we think about God and what we think about ourselves and what we think about our relationship to God determines everything else that makes up our world—other people, our culture, our relationships with people, God’s Word, the world, sin, faith and obedience. Wrong ideas about God will ultimately lead to wrong ideas about who we are and what we should do which can lead to a wrong path, wrong life and the wrong eternal destiny. RIGHT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD = FULFILLED LIFE
Q. Do You Like What You See in the Mirror?
Problem –Dissatisfaction seems to be part of human nature. Q. What Does God Say About You?
There are three attributes of God that come forth from this psalm:
God is Omniscient –God knows everything—vs. 1-6
God is Omnipresent –God is everywhere at once—vs. 7-12
God is Omnipotent –God is all-powerful—vs. 13-18
LIFE LESSON 1: GOD KNOWS YOU vs. 1-6 GOD SEARCHES YOU AND ME
GOD UNDERSTANDS YOU AND ME
GOD KNOWS YOU INTIMATELY AND EXHASTIVELY—vs. 1, 2, 4, 14
There are no secrets with God.
Hebrews 4:13 LIFE LESSON 2: GOD IS PURSUING YOU vs. 7-12
God isn’t going to let you run away. Psalm 139: 7-10
God is in a Different Category Altogether –vs. 11, 12
You Are Desirable to God!
The Scriptures are filled with references that show that God values us so much more than we think He does, especially when we are feeling like a nobody.
God calls His people “the apple of His eye”.
His beloved, chosen, holy, dearly loved.
The very hairs on your head are numbered and known by God.
We are told that there is no person or anything that could ever separate us fro the love of god in Christ. Nothing!
Remember the First Time Someone Wanted You?
LIFE LESSON 3: GOD SAYS YOU’RE AWESOME vs. 13- 16a
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the s tars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beats of the field. The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8: 3-8
THE MIRACLE OF HUMAN CONCEPTION AND BIRTH: Eugene Petersen said, “In the presence of birth, we don’t calculate—we marvel!” “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb!”
How Are You Made?
LIFE LESSON 4: GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU vs. 16b-18
God Thinks About You Constantly
God Has a Plan for You
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 10
You Are a Vital Part of God’s Plan
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6: 19, 20
God’s desire is that every person would come to faith in Him. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth. For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all the testimony borne at the proper time.” I Timothy 2: 3-6 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” II Peter 3: 9
God’s desire is that every believer in Christ would mature. “And we proclaim Him (Jesus Christ), admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” Colossians 1: 28 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen!” II Peter 3: 18
There are two potential obstacles that could keep God’s plan from being fulfilled in your life:
The level of your cooperation
The level of your commitment.
Stop, Listen, Yield
PSALM 34 The Goodness of the Lord
David faked like he was crazy, mentally deranged—letting saliva drip down his beard to the point that the King really believed he was just another crazy, deranged, mentally unstable person – I Samuel 21: 10-15 Achish bought it and kicked David out of his land.
“The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damscenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.” II Corinthians 11: 30-33
The first part of this psalm is a song, part two is sermon. The first part is devotional, the second part is doctrinal.
David’s Praise – vs. 1-10 What David Resolved—vs. 1-3
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8: 28
What David Remembered –vs. 4-6
David’s Testimony of Deliverance—vs. 4-7
“Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and you will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3: 23-26
“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28: 1
Here is the secret to conquering your fears: “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
“Look expectantly to the Lord”
What David Realized – vs. 7-10
1. God Protects – vs. 7 “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
The Prophet Elisha
“Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, open the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.’” II Kings 6: 15-17
2. God Provides—vs. 8-10
“O taste and see that the Lord is good, how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
The psalmist is challenging every person—Try God and see.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11: 6
“O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing”—vs. 9, 10
One author put it this way: “The good you enjoy (vs. 12) goes hand in hand with the good you do” (vs. 14). Real satisfying joy is always found in doing the will of God.
Lessons for Disciples—vs. 11-22
If you really want to achieve a full life in the Lord then it begins with a spirit that is totally open to listening to the instruction concerning the fear of the Lord.
David’s Sermon – vs. 13-20
1. Take Heed to Your Words – vs. 13 “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”
2. Take heed to Your Walk—vs. 14 “Depart from evil and do good: seek peace and pursue it.”—vs. 14
3. Take Heed to Your Works-- 34: 15, 16 “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
Learn from David’s Example--vs. 17-20 “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Becoming a Christian never means a trouble-free existence. P.C. Craigie writes: “The fear of the Lord is indeed a fountain of life, the key to joy in life and long and happy days. But it is not a guarantee that life will be always easy…It may mend the broken heart, but it does not prevent the heart from being broken; it may restore the spiritually crushed, but it does not crush the forces that may create oppression.”
Deliverance is one thing. Exemption from trouble is another.
The reality of the Christian life and the reality of the promise of prayer does not mean that God will change every difficult situation in your life. But God will preserve you as long as He has work for you to do.
“But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel your Savior!’” Isaiah 43: 1-3a
Bibliography The Bible Knowledge Commentary ---Walvoord and Zuck Wycliffe Bible Commentary Exploring the Psalms –Phillips Volume One – Psalms 1-41 The Treasury of David – C.H. Spurgeon Volume 1 Psalms 1- 57 Psalms 1- 72—Derek Kidner Psalms 1-41—James Montgomery Boice
HOPE DISPITE COVID-19 Let me give you at least four reasons David was hopeful and that we too can be hopeful for:
I. WE CAN HAVE HOPE OF AN ETERNITY WITH GOD.Psalm 62:1- Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
II. WE CAN HAVE HOPE OF OUR SINS BEING FORGIVEN Psalm 65:3."Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all"
III. WE CAN HAVE HOPE OF GOD'S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Psalm 103:11- "For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth".
IV. WE CAN HAVE A HOPE OF A PURPOSE FOR LIVING Psalm 138:8. "The LORD will work out his plans for my life-for your faithful love, 0 Lord, endures forever."
Three Things That Have Helped Me Keep Hope During Covid 19 l) TURN TO GOD FOR COMFORT. II Cor 1:3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
2) TURN YOUR TRUST IN GOD II Cor 1:10 - ...on Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us"
3) TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
By reading the Psalms, you will see that David had a personal relationship with God. THIS IS THE BASIC FOUNDATION FOR HOPE
He makes me lie down in green pastures: 1. Free from all fear. 2. Free from friction with others of their own kind. 3. Free from the torment of flies and parasites. 4. Free from hunger. He leads me beside quiet waters:
Three main water sources for sheep:
Dew on the grass.
Springs and streams
He restores my soul:
Two Conditions that Allow Sheep to Becomes Cast More Easily:
Sheep look for the soft spot. I Corinthians 10: 12, 13
Sheep are weighed down by their own wool.
Hebrews 12: 5-11 God restores our souls by showing over and over to us His grace, His mercy, His encouragement, His promises (7,000)
Matthew 11: 28-30
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake:
Q. How do you let God guide me on the right path?
Admit I need a guide.
Ask the Lord in faith for direction.
Listen for God’s response.
Trust God when I don’t understand.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death:
First, understand that there are five facts about valleys to remember
Valleys are inevitable.
Valleys are unpredictable.
Valleys are impartial.
Valleys are temporary.
Valleys are purposeful.
What to do when you go through ‘dark valleys’:
Refuse to be discouraged.
Remember that God is with me.
Rely on God’s protection and guidance.
Always remember—you go “through” valleys.
Shadows are always bigger than the reality.
Shadows cannot hurt you.
There is no shadow without a light somewhere.
The shadow of a dog can’t bite you. The shadow of a sword can’t stab you. The shadow of a shark cannot kill you and the shadow of death cannot harm the child of God.
‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.’ Psalm 34: 19
I fear no evil, for You are with me:
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me: Shepherds in David’s times were always armed. Staff- long stick with a crock at the end of it. Rod—club-like piece of wood to seriously hurt any predator.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies:
You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows: Summer time= fly time—warble files, bot flies, nose flies, deer flies, black flies, gnats, mosquitoes.
Three Great Qualities about Oil:
Smoothness of touch.
Brightness to the sight.
My cup overflows:
Our cups overflow with three things:
With Hope. ‘Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ Romans 15: 13
With Love. ‘And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you.’
I Thessalonians 3:12
With Joy. Jesus said, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” John 16: 24
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever:
God’s two footmen are goodness and lovingkindness. Goodness takes care of our steps and lovingkindness takes care of our stumbles. Leaving behind us a trail of peace, goodness, grace, mercy and love.
Three Comforting Truths:
God is watching over me.
Psalm 145: 17-20a
God’s grace is working in me.
‘And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” II Corinthians 12: 9 ‘But He gives a greater grace. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4: 6
Heaven is waiting for me!
‘Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord---for we walk by faith, not by sight---we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.’ II Corinthians 5: 6-8 John 14: 1-3
Psalms—Boice Volumes 1-3 Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament Psalms—Derek Kidner The Bible Knowledge Commentary The Wycliffe Bible Commentary The Expositors Bible Commentary Exposition of the Psalms--Leupold Exploring the Psalms—Phillips The Treasure of David—Volumes1-3—C.H. Spurgeon The Book of Psalms—Arno C. Gaebelein The Me I Want to Be—John Ortberg I Am Always With You—Chip Ingram Answering God—Eugene Peterson Outlive Your Life—Max Lucado