December 30, 2012 Psalm 16 Listen
God alone is our source of security. Insecurity comes from placing our affections in the wrong place. The true source of security and contentment is God alone.
Pastor's Notes:
Insecurity comes from placing our affections in the wrong place.  The true source of security and contentment is God alone.
Main Points:
1. The Status of the psalmist and all believers (verse 1).
We are like refugees, dwelling in a foreign land and seeking asylum from the insecurity that comes from persecution.  But refuge can be found, and in one place: God.  This refuge is not elusive; God longs to be sought after.  In New Testament language, we now find security by being “in Christ.”

Anxiety-producing agents mentioned in this and related psalms: the all-day-long nature of our spiritual battle; brazenness of the wicked; living and working with those who can use their tongues to harm you greatly; the inability of humans to be ultimately fair; people who want to do you bodily harm; constantly being in the minority; even those close to us seeking our downfall.

Ultimately, the question that arises in insecure circumstances and that is addressed by the whole book of the Psalms is this: Why are such things allowed in God’s sovereignty?  God’s purposes revealed many times in Scripture are to make us seek Him and to arrange our thinking to correlate with His plan. 
2. God alone is the Source of our security.
God is an ironic source of security (verse 2).  Human nature tends to put things as the source, but the mere possession of things does no security bring.  Neither is security found in removing the agent that causes insecurity.  It is not a function of insulation or isolation but of knowing God.

God is the exclusive source of security.  David’s “inheritance” language in verses 5-6 refers to the gift of the Promised Land to Israel.  As Joshua parceled out each family’s land, it was taken as a personal and permanent gift from God.  As David had been expelled from his home, he realized that security came not from his home but from the Giver.  Stuff, people, finances, etc. cannot minister security.

God is a personal source of security.  We can only access security through a relational submission to who He is.  The names of God used by David reflect this process: “God” or Hebrew “El” recognizes God’s existence and unique capability as the All-Powerful One.  Lord or Hebrew “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” is God’s covenant name and reflects His character of keeping His corporate promises.  “My Lord” or the Hebrew “Adonai” expresses God’s sovereign right over my own life.  It is not until we reach this level of relationship with God that our soul can prosper.
3. The Solution to insecurity – how do we access God’s security?
What you say.  David talked to God and reaffirmed what was true about Him in order to align his heart and thinking with God’s perspective.  He also expressed his value of what God values in wanting to be with God’s people (verse 3).

What you do.  David refused to turn to other sources of security (verse 4).  He praised God and cultivated a heart of thanksgiving for good and calamity (verse 7).  He kept his eyes on the Lord (verse 8).

When we find our security in God, we will experience great joy as David did.  God gives us guidance, counsel, and divine instruction when we struggle to submit to His sovereignty.  We are promised bodily resurrection and given eternal life now, a taste of the power of the age to come.

Application Points
Consider these questions as we seek to arrange our attitudes under the truth of God’s Word:
  • Where do you place your security?  Is it in your finances, your family, other people around you, national events, or something else?  You are most secure when your affections are placed in God.  How can you trust Him more?
  • Are there any insecurity-causing agents in your life?  How do you react when faced with these circumstances?  What do you talk about and to whom? 
  • Prayer is a powerful tool in the search for security.  It can align our hearts with God’s will.  When you pray, reaffirm God’s character instead of questioning or worrying over your circumstances.  Tell God how amazing He is – He loves it, and He is worthy of it!
  • Do you value God’s people as He does?  How do you show that?  Being in the company of believers is the clearest and most practical way to express your love for God.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
            Psalms 56-60 – other miktams of David that speak about security
            Acts 17:26-28 – the goal of God’s sovereignty
            James 4:8a – God wants to be sought.
            Luke 22:42, Hebrews 5:8 – Jesus learning obedience
            Matthew 25:40 – Serving God’s people shows love for Jesus.
            Job 2:10 – Good and bad come from God.
A Hymn to Encourage:  Joy To the World!
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
December 23, 2012 Matthew 1 Listen
Spiritual heritage is maintained through God’s people living the gospel.
Pastor's Notes:
Matthew’s record was written to rehearse the story of salvation and present Jesus as the Messiah.  That Jesus was born with the titles of Savior and King at the same time was unusual – even today, many Jews are looking for a second Messiah to be a strong and conquering king.

How Jesus was demonstrated to be the royal Christ:

  • John the Baptist’s declaration in Matthew 3.
  • Satan’s temptation in the desert (Matthew 4): trying to tempt Jesus away from the cross to take his domination of the world now.
  • The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is also known as the Manifesto of the King.
  • Miracles are the Credentials of the King.
  • Repetition of the phrase “son of David
  • Jesus predicted His kingdom himself (Matthew 24:30-31, 26:64).
  • Authority over angels (Matthew 26:53).
  • Name of “Immanuel” (Matthew 1:23) and promise of His presence in Matthew 28:19-20.
  • He is with us now just as much as when he was enfleshed and walking about the earth.

Matthew’s genealogy places Jesus fully in line with the history of Old Testament Israel and demonstrates the forward movement of God’s saving purpose.  God used both pagans and the righteous to bring about His plan of salvation, even using Christ-rejecters to further the physical line of the Messiah.

The organization of the genealogy (placing names in three groups of fourteen) shows the detail of God’s planning.  The time of preparation was now complete and the time was ready for the Christ to appear as the fulfillment of many prophecies.

The genealogy places Jesus squarely in line with the royal line of David and of Judah. Though “king of the Jews” was posted scoffingly on his cross, it was the truth!

Application Points

The coming of God’s promised Christ changed everything. His presence should transform our lives dramatically.   How does your life show that the Christ has come?

The genealogy of Christ traces much of salvation history.Look through the names and see if you recognize them.Then go back and read their stores in the Old Testament, and marvel at the omniscient sovereignty of God dominating human history!

Christ’s presence is promised to us for a purpose: to proclaim the good news of why He came to all those who are lost.Unbelievers do not need your righteousness; they need Jesus’ righteousness, and to be drawn to it by seeing your humble righteousness in imitation of His.How do your habits, attitude, speech, music, etc. give witness to Christ?

“Christ” is a title meaning “Messiah” or “Promised One.”His divinity, authority, and position gives Jesus the right to say how to be saved and makes Him worthy of utmost respect.God became man to save us from the condemnation we caused ourselves.Have you accepted His claims and demands?There is no other way to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

God raises up all authority and removes them.Parents, as you give your children opportunities to be light in the culture, make it commensurate with their maturity.And teach them to respect everyone in authority as occupying a position that has been appointed by God.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:

1 Samuel 2:10, 2 Samuel 7, Psalm 2, Psalm 105:15 – references to the Promised King and Savior.“Messiah” became the designation of a figure representing the people of God and bringing in the promised eschatological reign in time.

Galatians 4:4-5 – the time of preparation for the Messiah

Titus 2:11-15, 1 Peter 2:4-10, 1 Corinthians 6:1-4, Revelation 5:1-10 – New Testament saints are a royal priesthood and are future rulers when Jesus reigns on earth!

A Quote to Ponder:

G. Campbell Morgan: “This genealogy is remarkable.It is Jewish in its outlook, tracing to Abraham, and is Jesus’ legal genealogy resulting from his adoption by Joseph.It overleaps the Jewish boundary of Rahab, Jewish prejudice in the introduction of women; and by this genealogy, the coming of Jesus is connected with the history of the ancient people, and yet it is shown to be distinct from it.For Jesus came miraculously: the system could not produce Him. He came to crown the system and transform it.So came the king, but his name was called Jesus, for the kingdom had disintegrated and had been devastated by sin.And He, Christ, must be born to save his people from their sins.”

A Hymn to Encourage:Look, Ye Saints, the Sight is Glorious

Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious;
See the Man of sorrows now;
From the fight returned victorious,
Every knee to Him shall bow;
Crown Him! Crown Him!
Crowns become the Victor’s brow.
Crown the Savior! Angels, crown Him!
Rich the trophies Jesus brings;
In the seat of pow’r enthrone Him,
While the vault of heaven rings:
Crown Him! Crown Him!
Crown the Savior King of kings.
Sinners in derision crowned Him,
Mocking thus the Savior’s claim;
Saints and angels crowd around Him,
Own His title, praise His name:
Crown Him! Crown Him!
Spread abroad the Victor’s fame.
Hark! those bursts of acclamation!
Hark! those loud triumphant chords!
Jesus takes the highest station;
O what joy the sight affords!
Crown Him! Crown Him!
King of kings, and Lord of lords!

December 16, 2012 Matthew 1 Listen
Spiritual heritage is a divine gift to be studied and appreciated for all ages.
Pastor's Notes:
Paying attention to words and phrases repeated in the beginning of Matthew’s gospel reveal his intentions in writing this record of Jesus’ life.

“The record of the genealogy…” is a phrase used in the Old Testament to describe the beginning of creation or the beginning of generations.  This reveals the spiritual reality that Jesus came to begin a new creation and initiate a new generation of people who are redeemed by His blood.
The phrase “Jesus Christ” or literally “Jesus the Messiah” emphasizes his divinity and humanity.  “The son of David” reveals that Jesus was born in a kingly line.  These have practical and divine implications that are fleshed out further in the rest of the chapter and the book.
Notice the names and references to Jesus repeated throughout the whole first chapter.  God intentionally became a man: eternal divinity and royalty became a servant to depraved humanity, that we may know His life.
Background of the culture:
The Jewish culture Jesus was born into experienced a crushing tax burden under Roman domination.  In addition to the empire’s poll (income) and ground (property) taxes, governors could purchase the rights to charge more taxes for their own gain.  The nationals they hired in each conquered nation were called publicans.
Background on Matthew, the author:
Matthew (or Levi) was one of these publicans, who were generally despised by their fellow Jews and equated with the worst of criminals.  Matthew 9 tells us of Jesus’ call to Matthew that changed his life.  It was amazing for Jesus even to approach a publican, let alone for Matthew to follow Him.  “Only Jesus could change a soul from being a publican to being an apostle,” who within a few short years would help turn the world upside-down with the message of the Gospel.
Matthew’s character:
After accepting Jesus’ call, Matthew threw a party to introduce his old friends to his new Master.  Elsewhere in the gospel, he refers to himself in the third-person and humbly gives himself no credit for following Jesus or writing the book.
Application Points:
We can find application even in a genealogy and introductory facts of Matthew’s gospel.  Isn’t God’s Word amazing?
  • Matthew obeyed Jesus’ call despite his corrupt occupation and bad reputation.  You can run into good people in a bad business who want to get out.  Do you know anyone like that?  Does that describe you?  How can you offer a way out to someone you know, or how can you take an opportunity to follow Jesus yourself, out of a situation that does not honor Him?
  • Is the change in your life after obeying Jesus’ call evident to your friends?  Are you as eager as Matthew was to introduce them to your new Master?  What steps can you take to do this?
  • Reflect on the great distance Jesus descended to live among humankind.  What a sacrifice just the Incarnation was!  His birth and life led up to His death on the cross – all done for us.  Praise and worship Jesus for this condescension.  Make sure you have gratefully accepted His gift, and tell others about the purpose of His birth.
Tools for Further Study:
Cross References to Explore: 
            Matthew 9:9-10 – the call of Matthew
A Christmas Hymn to Encourage:  Hark The Herald Angels Sing, by Charles Wesley
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild –
God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all ye nations rise:
Join the triumph of the skies.
With the angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Christ by highest heav'n adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see –
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die –
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"
December 2, 2012 Psalm 132 Listen
God’s sojourners pursue ministry goals and realize His approval and reward.
Pastor's Notes:
The last two Psalms of Ascent will declare the importance of unity in worship and continual service that is the fruit of true worship.  But before these corporate aspects are possible, every member of the congregation must get his or her heart in tune with God’s desire for His worshippers.
Main Points:
Part 1: David’s oath, intentions, and zeal to restore proper worship (verses 1-9).
David’s soul was devastated when God’s people couldn’t worship in the way He intended.  The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence among His people, which should be the center of worship.  God should be worshipped in the way He prescribes, a way that mirrors His character.
Our ministry goals should be based in Scripture and accompanied by plans to fulfill them.  Practical action and meaningful ministry will brings about the spiritual maturity and consequently the joy of God’s people.
The full scope of your ministry goals may remain unrealized in your lifetime, but they will be carried on by the next faith-filled generation through discipleship.  David still prepared as much as he could for the building of the Temple, even though he knew he would not build it himself.
Interlude:  A prayer for God’s favor (verse 10).
Part 2: God’s oath to David and zeal to bless His people (verses 11-18).
God responds to a heart that desires to do right and acts on it.  He will bless those who first seek to honor Him, and He will bless them above and beyond what we could imagine!
 God never makes a promise He cannot keep.  We will have His help in pursuing ministry goals that honor Him, insofar as we are unified and serving Him biblically.  He has given us His presence, supply for our needs, sufficient Scripture, a blueprint for our mission, and much more! 
The end of this psalm contains promises of God’s Kingdom to come.  We can rejoice in these if we are part of the King.  You can’t be part of the Kingdom if the King isn’t also a part of you!

Application Points
A heart like David’s will receive a similar response from God.  This psalm offers a practical way to experience God’s approval and rewards.
  • Are you involved in ministry and service in the local church?  Do you do these things for the sake of religious busy-ness or spiritual influence?  Do you seek to disciple and “rub off” on those you interact with?
  • A wise person considers the future and plans for it.  Do you have spiritual and ministry-focused goals or intentions for 2013? 
  • Have you been “orbiting” the church too long?  God longs to bless His people in ways we’ve never seen before, but He waits for His people’s readiness.  Could you be a person holding back the work God wants to do in a certain area? 
  • What devastates your soul?  Where is your spiritual passion or zeal aroused?  How can you act on what God has put within you, and even spread that to other Christians around you?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
            Psalm 24 and 68 also speak of entering God’s presence for worship
            Philippians 3:20-21 – we are members of a Heavenly coming kingdom
            2 Samuel 7:4-17 – God’s promises to David
            Matthew 1 – fulfillment of God’s promises through the Messiah
Quotes to Ponder:
author in 1938: “The rule of man has been characterized with irreconcilable ambitions and conflicts of interests. The brains of man have been dedicated to the production of military machines and accoutrements for the scattering of death and desolation among the inhabitants of the earth.  Man has looked for peace and found war; he’s talked of brotherhood and love and has seen hatred and persecution; he’s boasted of civilization, enlightenment, and progress, and the so-called heathen have upbraided him for his godly practices.  He’s spent billions of dollars for war, millions for pleasure, and he has no promise of improvement.  And as it was, so it is, and will be until King Jesus comes back.  There has not been a period since the Fall of Man in which the race has enjoyed or witnessed a condition which prophecy declares shall be obtained in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ to come.”
November 25, 2012 Psalm 131 Listen
There is much simplicity, sincerity, and nobility in childlike faith.
Pastor's Notes:
Our TV-saturated and digital culture elevates “me” above every other value.  The attitude expressed in this psalm is counter-cultural, as is the disposition of Christ.  Singing doctrine such as these truths redirects our hearts into godly living.
Main Points:
The Disposition of our Conversion (verses 1-2). What we no longer are or want to be: proud, arrogant, or ambitious.  We all struggle with these vices, and the battle never ends, but no Christian should be known for pride, haughtiness, or ambition.  Only God’s grace can transform us, changing our sinful tendencies into humility. Pride is self-sufficiency and individuality that is not Christian.  Arrogance is an expression of pride, looking down on others.  Ambition is pursuing what goes beyond God’s will for you at this time, “aspiration gone crazy.” Christians should look with sad pity on the unsaved and with admiration, regard, and respect on the saved, as those redeemed by the Lord and “little Christs.”  It makes God most sad to see His children scoffing and jeering at pagans. When we walk with God, our desires will be in tune with His will, and our activities will not make obedience to God expendable.  God’s will is never mystical because it is recorded in His Word.  We cannot stop worshipping because we suffer from our own ambition that has taken us to a difficult place.
The Position of our Conversion (verse 3). David moves from an individual focus to exhorting the nation.  We should declare our journey to others and invite them to come join us.  Being humble, obedient to God’s Word, and trusting in the Lord is a wonderful path to walk!  He’s that good, capable, powerful, and loving!

Application Points 
We can find a lot to apply in these three short verses.  How does your disposition line up with David’s?
  • Are you known for being proud, arrogant, or ambitious?  Do you long to be seen and exalted?  How do you look at others, whether they are saved or unsaved?
  • Is there any place in your life where you are pursuing something that goes beyond God’s will for you right now?  Think about relationships that may be drawing you away from obedience to Scripture, decisions where you are ignoring biblical counsel.
  • Are you simply dependent on God like a little child?  How is this shown in your lifestyle?  Do you worship God by honoring and trusting Him with your finances? 
  • Do you love God for God Himself or for what you can get from God, or what you feel God owes you?  How can you learn to love God for Himself?
  • Do you share your faith journey with others?  To whom can you testify of God’s goodness and invite to join you?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
            Matthew 18:1-4 – the humble faith of a child is the greatest in God’s kingdom.
            Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 4:10, 1 Peter 5:5, Matthew 11:28-29 – combating pride.
            Psalm 121 – the Christian’s upward look.
            Isaiah 49:15, 66:13 – dependence on God.
            Proverbs 13:15 – the way of the transgressor is hard.
A Hymn to Encourage:  “Like a River Glorious” by Frances Havergal
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious in its bright increase.
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed,
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand.
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love.
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
A Quote to Ponder:
“Before David was weaned, he wanted God only for what he could get from God.  After he was weaned, having learned that God loved him and would care for him, even if it was not exactly the way he anticipated or most wanted, he came to love God for God himself, and that was a better and much more mature relationship.”

November 18, 2012 Psalm 130 Unavailable
The ultimate ascent is from sinful depression to forgiven exaltation.
Pastor's Notes:
Main Points:
Petition (verses 1-2)
A petition is a request given with a begging and needy heart.  This is the attitude we will have when we realize our personal sinfulness before the Holy and Pure Judge.  We need to be aware of how desperate we are.When we find ourselves in the abyss of personal sin, we cry out to God because He is our only hope of receiving help.
Confession (verses 3-4)
The psalmist personally and reverentially confesses his sinful state.  If God were to carefully note each of our sins, no one would be able to stand in innocence or bear the sentence.But God longs to forgive!  He offers it freely, but we must receive forgiveness on His terms.  God’s forgiveness is inclusive – it has no limits.  It is present right now for those who want it.  The forgiveness of God is transformational – it leads to godly living.
Expression (verses 5-6)
Whoever asks for forgiveness will receive it.  In response, the psalmist now longs for the Lord’s appearing and puts his hope in God’s Word.
Exhortation (verses 7-8)
Those who have been forgiven by God want to be a light to their community.  God’s character is always forgiving, and He is capable to forgive even the sins of a whole nation.

Application Points 
This psalm reminds us of our greatest need and how it can be ultimately met.  Where do you find yourself in these verses?
  • Have you ever made your own ascent from sinful depression to forgiven exaltation?  Have you realized the great distance that sin places between yourself and God?  Have you called out to Him for mercy?
  • Has God’s forgiveness transformed your life?  Forgiveness gives us peace with God in this world, and a reverential awe of God replaces the fear that leaves us terrified.  Are you developing the wisdom that knows and applies God’s Word?  How do you show that you love, worship, and serve God?
  • Do you respond to God’s grace as the psalmist did -- longing to see the Lord at His return and hoping in His Word?  How can you be living faithfully and doing the job He’s appointed for you in the meantime?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
            Romans 3:23 – sin makes humans utterly lost.
            Exodus 34:6-7 – God’s character is always forgiving.
            Proverbs 9:10 – the fear of God.
            1 John 2:2 – God loves the whole world.
A Hymn to Encourage:  “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in that great Day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully through these absolved I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which at the mercy-seat of God
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me--even for my soul--was shed.
When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Even then shall this be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died for me!
O let the dead now hear Thy voice!
Now bid Thy ransomed ones rejoice!
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, the Lord our Righteousness.

November 11, 2012 Psalm 129 Listen
God’s people may be oppressed but they are never consumed.
Pastor's Notes:
This Psalm may be sobering, but truth from God will always cheer our hearts.  It is good for God’s people to engage in song even when most discouraged.  In the midst of oppression, we can hold onto songs and Scriptures that speak to us of promise, hope, and certainty.
Main Points:
First Stanza: The world’s unending pressure to suppress your walk with the Lord (verses 1-4).
Pressure from the world will never cease.  There is no perfectly celestial life to be found in a sin-cursed world.  The more mature you are in Christ and the brighter your light shines, the more oppression you will encounter.Perspective depends on our response to oppression.  God promises that His people will never be consumed.  Affliction in the world is temporary compared to eternal glory.  Though the goal of the wicked is only to worsen the cut, we survive because our Lord is righteous, and through Christ that righteousness lives in us.
Second Stanza: The undying resolve in your heart for justice (verses 5-8).
We should pray for our enemies to come to know Jesus.  But it is okay to desire God’s final judgment on all who reject God and hurt His people.  We can and should take a stand for right without engaging in vigilantism.  Vengeance is in the Lord’s hands.
The righteous long that the wicked will have no honor, no success, and no blessing.  This is quite alright. It is not okay to acquiesce to the culture and applaud wickedness, whether by actively partaking in it or by not judging it in our own lives.
Until the kingdom of the world becomes His kingdom, God desires for you to know grace enough to persevere under unending pressure, while you realize an undying sense for justice to be meted out on the earth.  In between these two, God longs to find a gradual, consistent, faithful, joyful, singing, Word-saturated people.

Application Points
It is important to keep the right perspective amidst the pressure we encounter in the world.  Use these questions to examine your life and direct your eyes towards God:
  • How do you experience the world’s pressure?  Is your light shining brightly?  What is your response to opposition?  What truths will give you hope and comfort in the midst of oppression?
  • Do you have any enemies?  How do you pray for them?  Can you pray for them to come to know Jesus and pray that God would finally right all evil?
  • Not judging the presence of sin in our own lives is equal to passively blessing it.  Is there any place in your life where you are applauding or partaking in evil?  What kind of television shows, movies, books, music, etc. do you partake in?  Do these honor the surrounding fallen society or God who will not bless sin?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore: 
            2 Corinthians 4:7-18 – the Christian’s endurance
            Ephesians 5:7-16 – the Light exposes darkness
            Hosea 11:1, Exodus, Judges, Amos, 1 + 2 Kings, Isaiah 36-37 – Israel’s history of survival
            Matthew 5:45 – pray for your enemies
            Romans 12:17-21 – vengeance is the Lord’s
            Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 – the oppression of Christ and His victory
A Hymn to Encourage: When Peace Like a River
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed his own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.
Quotes to Ponder:
[Robert] Kidner: “Whereas most nations tend to look back at what they have achieved, Israel reflects here on what she has survived.”
Charles Spurgeon: “If this be an [imprecatory prayer], let it stand, for our heart says amen to it.  It is but justice that those who hate, harass, and hurt the good should be brought to naught.  Those who confound right and wrong ought to be confounded, and those who turn back from God ought to be turned back.  How could we wish prosperity on those who would destroy that which is dearest to our hearts as God’s people?  This present age is so flippant that if man loves the Savior, he is styled a fanatic; and if he hates the powers of evil, he is named a bigot.  As for ourselves, despite all detractors, we would revive in our hearts the old practice of Ebal and Gerazim, where those were blessed who blessed God, and those were cursed who made themselves a curse to righteousness.  …Study a chapter in the book of martyrs, and see if you do not wish to read an imprecatory psalm over Bishop Bohnner and Bloody Mary.  It may be that some wretched nineteenth-century sentimentalist will blame you; if so, read an imprecation over him.”
“Can it be wrong for us to pray that the efforts of evil persons might be so unsuccessful that in the end, there is nothing at all left of their schemes?  Rather, it is the case that we err by being too tolerant and accepting of evil rather than too firm in our opposition to it.”

November 4, 2012 Psalm 128 Listen
Simple, personal godliness leads to far reaching stability and peace.
October 28, 2012 Psalm 127 Listen
Every aspect of our lives is a spiritual work underpinned by the grace of God.
October 21, 2012 Psalm 126 Listen
God's pilgrims whatever their circumstance are able to say, "We are glad!"
October 14, 2012 Psalm 125 Listen
Consistent, spiritual growth stabilizes and separates any Christian unto greater service and hope in the Lord in any culture.
October 7, 2012 Psalm 124 Listen
God's protection and deliverance encourage us to endure while living joyful and worshipful lives.
September 30 2012 Psalm 123 Listen
God's mercy motivates us to the most complete offer of ourselves to the Lord and to the highest level of Christian maturity.
September 23 2012 Psalm 122 Listen
Christian journeymen know God is able to present them before His glorious presence with great joy.
September 16 2012 Psalm 121 Listen
The Christian pilgrim is neither blind to trouble nor in fear of it.
September 9, 2012 Judges 6 Listen
When God’s enemies come into our life and seem to take what they want when they want, what are we to do? How does God enable us to maintain our will to continue to follow Him?
September 2, 2012 Psalm 120 Listen
Christian sojourners long for peace and release from falsehood and violence.
August 26, 2012 Selected Passages Listen
Seven profound "I am" statements in the book of John. These statements define ultimate reality! From the vantage point of eternity, Jesus speaks with one-of-a-kind authority to teach us how to know eternal life!
August 19, 2012 John 15:1-16 Listen
In contrast to the norm of mere survival, Jesus commands a "new norm" for the believer. Bear much fruit! How are you doing? Is your life a fruitful life? Listen carefully this morning to discover Jesus? „produce program? for your life!
August 12, 2012 John 13:33-14:6 Listen
Self confidence and Self doubt are two polar points that are normalized in the reality of who Jesus is. Jesus answers these flaws in the human condition by clearly defining who is the ultimate reality and what is it that He has to give!
August 5, 2012 Various Verses Listen
Worship God for His Goodness!
July 29, 2012 John 11:14-46 Listen
Far from mere sentimental love, “the good shepherd” comes in power to unshack-le man from His greatest enemy—death. Our text demonstrates that Jesus is a shepherd of an altogether different kind! This morning may God help us to wor-ship the glory of His one divinity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus, who boldly proclaimed and demonstrated that “I am the resurrection and the life.”
July 22, 2012 John 10:11-21 Listen
Jesus’ proclamation that “I am the good shepherd” expresses in a simple metaphor Jesus’ incredible, intimate and personal love for those who are His. This metaphor stands forever in the face of any design on God the Father or His beloved Son that would try to paint them in disinterested, emotionless relation to those who belong to them. This morning we investigate this inti-mate, personal love!
July 15, 2012 John 9:35-10:10 Listen
Doormen, shepherds, sheep and thieves all must deal with the central figure, the door. Jesus Christ said, "I am the door." Jesus sums up all of ministry interaction in this simple proverb found in our text this morning.
July 8, 2012 John 8 Listen
Phenomenal claims stir up penetrating questions. Jesus claims that he is the unrivaled source of light for the soul of mankind! If you are troubled or have lost your way, Jesus is all you need!
July 1, 2012 John 6 Listen
Today we examine Jesus' statement, "I am the bread of life."
June 24, 2012 Hebrews 4:1-13 Listen
Ultimate and eternal spiritual rest is found only in Christ. Physical rest is necessary for healthy ministry progress.
June 24, 2012 Hebrews 4:1-13 Listen
Ultimate and eternal spiritual rest is found only in Christ. Physical rest is necessary for healthy ministry progress.
June 17, 2012 Jonah 4 Listen
God’s compassion is the enemy of self-righteousness.
June 10, 2012 Jonah 3 Listen
Our compassion like God’s should impartially reach others for Christ.
June 3, 2012 Jonah 3 Listen
Our compassion like God's should impartially reach others for Christ.