May 27, 2018
When Approaching The King
When it comes to your relationship with God, do you give much thought to entering into His presence in worship? Would your approach change if you thought of Him as a glorious King reigning in perfect power and holiness?
 
In Psalm 24, David wrote of a celebratory procession in ancient Israel, most likely in the context of the Ark of the Covenant being brought into Jerusalem not only for the first time but also after subsequent victories in battle. During the back and forth between the procession and the gatekeepers in the city and at the sanctuary, the Israelites celebrated God as King over all the earth and rejoiced in the fellowship they enjoyed with Him. 
 
Through the Israelites' praise, we learn that the Lord is King. Additionally, in this song, we see how the Lord expressed His sovereign authority through establishing order by subduing  chaos. He firmly established the dry land upon the chaos of the seas at Creation. He firmly establishes His people in victory over their enemies, in a military context with respect to ancient Israel and in a spiritual context with respect to Jesus' victory over Satan, sin, and death through His own death and resurrection. Naturally, we would want to draw near to the Lord to worship Him for who He is in response to what He has done. However, another thing David made clear in this psalm was that holiness must be firmly established in your life if you would approach God
 
So, examine yourself before approaching the King. In doing so, you will discover that you need His provision to meet His holy standard. He has provided for your cleansing from sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Have you trusted in Christ for salvation, receiving this cleansing? Even if you have professed faith in Christ in the past, make sure that you are truly in the faith. For, apart from Christ's provision for your cleansing, you are not only unable to approach God in worship but also unprepared to stand before Him in the final judgment. Having received cleansing from Jesus, though, live a life that is pleasing to Him by the grace He provides so that you might remain in close fellowship with the holy God, your glorious King.
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  • May 27, 2018When Approaching The King
    May 27, 2018
    When Approaching The King
    When it comes to your relationship with God, do you give much thought to entering into His presence in worship? Would your approach change if you thought of Him as a glorious King reigning in perfect power and holiness?
     
    In Psalm 24, David wrote of a celebratory procession in ancient Israel, most likely in the context of the Ark of the Covenant being brought into Jerusalem not only for the first time but also after subsequent victories in battle. During the back and forth between the procession and the gatekeepers in the city and at the sanctuary, the Israelites celebrated God as King over all the earth and rejoiced in the fellowship they enjoyed with Him. 
     
    Through the Israelites' praise, we learn that the Lord is King. Additionally, in this song, we see how the Lord expressed His sovereign authority through establishing order by subduing  chaos. He firmly established the dry land upon the chaos of the seas at Creation. He firmly establishes His people in victory over their enemies, in a military context with respect to ancient Israel and in a spiritual context with respect to Jesus' victory over Satan, sin, and death through His own death and resurrection. Naturally, we would want to draw near to the Lord to worship Him for who He is in response to what He has done. However, another thing David made clear in this psalm was that holiness must be firmly established in your life if you would approach God
     
    So, examine yourself before approaching the King. In doing so, you will discover that you need His provision to meet His holy standard. He has provided for your cleansing from sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Have you trusted in Christ for salvation, receiving this cleansing? Even if you have professed faith in Christ in the past, make sure that you are truly in the faith. For, apart from Christ's provision for your cleansing, you are not only unable to approach God in worship but also unprepared to stand before Him in the final judgment. Having received cleansing from Jesus, though, live a life that is pleasing to Him by the grace He provides so that you might remain in close fellowship with the holy God, your glorious King.
  • May 20, 2018When The Lord Is With You
    May 20, 2018
    When The Lord Is With You
    Have you ever looked for someone to watch over you? For, we all have needs and desires that go unmet in this fallen world. The needs themselves may be entirely legitimate, including things like physical, spiritual, and psychological needs, and our needs for restoration, guidance, and protection. The problem is that we look in the wrong places for those needs to be satisfied. In fact, we won't find what we're looking for in this world at all, but only in the Lord, where David did in Psalm 23.
     
    In Psalm 23, David declared, "The Lord is my shepherd." It's a profound statement in itself, making significant statements about God, ourselves, and the relationship we can have with Him. Then, David explains how the Lord satisfies your needs and desires. For, as a good shepherd, He provides for, restores, guides, and protects His people. Furthermore, as a King, He invites you into fellowship at His royal banquet. 
     
    So, if you're looking for someone to watch over you, because you find yourself feeling stressed, overwhelmed, confused, or terrified, like a sheep without a shepherd, then look to the Lord like David did in Psalm 23. Dwell with your shepherd who watches over you. 
  • May 13, 2018When You Just Can’t Contain Yourself (part 2)
    May 13, 2018
    When You Just Can’t Contain Yourself (part 2)
    We offer thanksgiving and praise for a lot of different people and accomplishments. But shouldn't we reserve our greatest praise for the person and work that is infinitely and eternally significant?
     
    In Psalm 22, we've seen how David demonstrated that we should never give up crying out to the Lord in seasons of hardship and suffering. Then, when we experience God's deliverance or blessing or goodness, we should be quick to give Him praise together with His people. However, if this is true with respect to God's faithfulness demonstrated in our individual lives, how much more should we praise God for His faithfulness demonstrated through the person and work of Jesus! In this message, we'll be studying Psalm 22:22-31 from the perspective of how it applies to our response to Jesus' resurrection and exaltation. 
     
    When you consider the death and resurrection of Jesus, and you just can't contain yourself:
     
    1. Join in the Celebration! [vv. 22-24]
    2. Come to the Table! [vv. 25-26]
    3. Share the Good News with Others! [vv. 27-31]
  • May 6, 2018When You Just Can’t Contain Yourself (part 1)
    May 6, 2018
    When You Just Can’t Contain Yourself (part 1)
    What has God done in your life that gets you excited? 
     
    In Psalm 22:22-31, David thanked God with his fellow worshipers after the Lord miraculously delivered him out of a hopeless situation (Psa 22:1-21). So, David fulfilled his vow to praise God by making a peace offering in the presence of his fellow faithful Israelites. He employed his thanks as a vehicle for corporate praise so that his fellow worshipers were encouraged. He even envisioned how non-worshipers would be impacted by his testimony of God's faithfulness to him.
     
    David's actions illustrate a timeless truth for God's people. That is, corporate thanksgiving has a far-reaching impact. It completes your joy. It encourages your fellow believers. It glorifies God. It even impacts those who do not believe. 
     
    Therefore, give thanks to God with His people. Consider how God has blessed you. Fashion your thanks as a vehicle for praise, making much of God. Then, share it with your fellow believers. In fact, be prepared to share it with unbelievers, too.
  • Apr 29, 2018When You Feel Like You’re All Alone
    Apr 29, 2018
    When You Feel Like You’re All Alone
    Long seasons of hardship and suffering are discouraging and disorienting, feeling at times like they are never going to end, especially when you feel alone.
     
    In Psalm 22:1-21, David persisted in prayer even when he felt abandoned by God. Then, during his one last prayer of faith, he seeming received assurance of his deliverance. 
     
    Of course, these verses find their ultimate fulfillment at the Cross of Christ. For, Jesus felt abandoned by God upon the Cross. As He bore the wrath of God towards humanity's sin, He was in many senses spiritually, emotionally, and physically alone. Yet, in the end, he was gloriously vindicated through His resurrection. 
     
    So, when you feel like you're all alone, keep crying out to the Lord. Remember His past faithfulness. Persist in prayer. Maintain your trust, following Jesus' example while knowing that you are never alone. For, your sin is the only thing that can separate you from God, and Jesus paid the penalty for your sin at the Cross. He suffered spiritual, emotional, and physical aloneness to an infinite degree so that by grace through faith in Him you could have the assurance that you will never be alone. 
  • Apr 22, 2018When God Shows Himself Strong
    Apr 22, 2018
    When God Shows Himself Strong
    It's easy for us to forget God's strength, because we start to focus on the size of our problems. In light of our present circumstances, the Lord's promises sound too good to be true and our opposition seems too great to overcome.
     
    However, in Psalm 21 we find David trusting and delighting in the Lord because the Lord is faithful to do what He says. The reason the Lord is faithful is not only because He is willing on account of His covenant love but also because He is able on account of His infinite strength.
     
    So, stop focusing on the problem and start focusing on the Almighty King. For, He is able to keep His "too-good-to-be-true" promises. He is able to overcome His enemies in establishing justice. 
     
    Therefore, like David and the Israelites, sing praises to the Lord for His strength. It is an expression of prayer in faith when we engage our hearts in praise. Furthermore, singing praises to the Lord helps us to remember who He is and what He has done.