Every Word (Psalm 19)

MOTIVATE

Airports utilize a comprehensive communications system to operate the incoming and outgoing of airplane travel. Control towers communicate with airplane pilots as they can see underneath and below the planes. The pilots utilize all their internal instruments and also rely on the tower control for their full flight plan. Likewise, in life we have a limited vantage point and God’s Word is like a control tower to help us navigate the direction and destination of our lives.

Similarly, if you have a long commute it is likely that you listen to some sort of traffic report. The traffic reports help provide information and conditions that you cannot see or know on your own. Generally speaking, the reports are provided by either a person flying in a helicopter or a camera from a high vantage point that can share roads to avoid and other traffic patterns that are helpful. Those who listen to the traffic reports do not tune in for listening pleasure only but so that they can apply the information to their commute.

Today I would like to begin a series that will help us build a foundation for 2017. The series “Every Word” will cast a vision for the importance and influence of God’s Word in our daily life. Today’s message is from Psalm 19 to reveal how God speaks to our lives. The following messages will help us apply our Bible intake for positive spiritual outcome.

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Psalm 19 reveals 3 ways God speaks to our lives.

 

EXAMINE           Psalm 19

God speaks wordless through the skies (19:1-6). [general revelation]
All of the heavens proclaim God’s glory as creator. Creation transcends speech, language or words to communicate the reality of God. The psalmist’s words “pours out speech” suggests irrepressible bubbling up of a spring, full, fresh and frequent.[1] The psalmist notes that in one sense creation is constantly speaking every day & night in all of creation (sky, land, ocean, animals, etc.), and in another sense there is no speech or words from creation. On occasion, God speaks visually and non-verbally. The image put forth by the psalmist is of a bridegroom leaving his chamber in elegant adornment and elaborate procession with his bride (cf. Isa 61:10; Song 3:11).[2] Discerning the glory of God in creation is a marvelous mystery.

Psalm 147:4, 8-11 “He determines the number of stars; he gives to all of them their names… He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” 

The sun with the stars are daily & nightly reminders of God’s care for us. He sustains creation with seasons and sustenance to feed the animals. How much more does God care for humans, whom are made in His image?

Romans 1:19-20 “God has shown them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

The glory of creation points to God the Creator. Creation tells us that we cannot escape God.

Illus: A missionary speaking to a tribesman about God. The tribesman shows the missionary “his idols” and says these are his gods, challenging the missionary to show him his God. The missionary struggles knowing he cannot show that which cannot be seen with human eyes. So, the missionary blindfolds and takes the tribesman out to an open field. He unveils the blindfold for the tribesman to be blinded by the light of the sun. The missionary tells the tribesman that the sun is one of God’s messengers. Now can you understand why I cannot show you God?

◊      Christians can commune with God through creation exploration. Our exploration of creation can be as simple as spending a few moments in the morning looking outside your window at the sunrise or sunset, or observing birds in a tree; or going in your backyard at night to look at the stars while praying to God. Additionally, we can explore creation in vacations with road trips, beach or mountain destinations,

◊      Our worship of God in creation exploration should not replace gathering in community. God created Eve for Adam because it was not good for man to be alone in creation. The principle of marriage for interdependence extends also to the relationships with others.

◊      We must utilize images both animate and inanimate to communicate truth and beauty with God as the source. Learning can take place inside the room with visuals and in outside settings beyond a classroom. It is said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Visual literacy is just as educational and engaging learning.[3] Pictures communicate truth in story and culture. 65% of human population is visual learners. Our eyes can register and process 36,000 visual messages per hour. Visual aids in the classroom improve learning by 400%. The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Pictures engage the head and the heart to accelerate learning concepts and applying them to life. Aristotle said, “The soul does not think without a picture.”

God speaks in words through Scripture (19:7-11). [special revelation]
Beyond all of creation proclaiming God, is the fact that God has spoken to man. God tells us, “I am God and there is no other”. God’s word gives us understanding of God’s character and commands. The psalmist describes special revelation being “of the Lord” and from God, with five unique and unifying words: the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandments, the rules. And the summary point of the psalmist is that God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture is incalculable value to our life.

◊      v.7 “revives the soul”                                 God’s word converts

◊      v.7 “makes wise the simple”                     God’s word constructs

◊      v. 8 “rejoices the heart”                             God’s word cheers

◊      v. 9 “pure, enlightening the eyes”             God’s word cleans

◊      v. 10. “enduring forever”                            God’s word continues

◊      v. 10 “true & righteous altogether”           God’s word is central

◊      v. 10 “more desirable than gold”              God’s word is costly

◊      v. 10 “sweeter than honey”                       God’s word is cherished

◊      v. 11 “servant is warned”                          God’s word convicts

◊      v.11 “in keeping there is great reward”    God’s word brings complete contentment

 

Reading God’s word has the greatest benefits and blessings to our life.

Matthew 4:4 “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Do you believe these statements? If so, how does this impact your application of reading and studying God’s Word? Do you believe your life can endure life’s problems and pains without a consistent devotional life? Do you believe you can know God and grow closer to Him apart from a dynamic and deep pursuit of God through the Scriptures?

It takes about 70 hours to read the Bible, Genesis to Revelation. In USA, average screen (television, computer, tablet, cell, etc.). time is 30-50 hours per week depending on age group. The older the person is the more screen time used.[4] So, if most people replaced tv watching with Bible reading, they could read the entire Bible in a month.

Let us pray that God would increase our interest and initiative in God’s Word. May God grant us confidence and compel us to apply the truth of His Word.

◊      Sunday Bible Groups (9:30am) for children, youth, adults.

o   Aim for 100% members to participate. If not participating, why not? Write your statement down and 1) pray & compare it to Bible, 2) share it with your pastor.

◊      Small Group opportunities with men, ladies, couples, families, disciplemaking, etc.

o   Important: our goal should not be to increase study events to fill a calendar spot, but to increase disciplemaking.

 

God speaks wholly through salvation – God our Rock & Redeemer (19:12-14)
Thus far the psalmist has exalted God’s revelation through the skies and the Scriptures. In concluding this psalm, the author prays to the LORD (use of personal name Yahweh, rather than the opening of the psalm El for God. The psalm as a whole emphasizes that the supreme Creator God reveals Himself most specially to His covenant people.)[5]

God’s covenant people related to Him by grace through faith. The psalmist requested justification and protection from sin and its consequences. Based on the Lord’s grace, the desire of His heart was for his words and thoughts to glorify God and be acceptable in His sight. The revelation of God’s in sky and Scripture was not just for information but transformation.

The Psalmist notes two types of sins that keep him from the Lord[6]:

1)    Hidden faults are the type of attitudes or actions that we have unintentionally; they occur out of our sin nature that unfortunately we just cannot help ourselves. Examples may include wrongful or lustful thoughts, sinful sarcasm that offends or hurts others, selfish manipulation of circumstances or people, or any other behavior that dishonors God and is dismissive of His purposes.

2)    Presumptuous sins are intentional and arrogant actions against God; they occur while we persist in our stubborn pride for our own selfish passions and pleasures. These examples are often manifested in sins with greater consequences such as fornication or adultery, hate or murder,

Hidden faults are like a surprise trap door, whereas presumptuous sins are like a swinging door wide open. Noticeably, the Psalmist is tempted and guilty of both while also asking for the forgiving grace to cleanse and compel him to blamelessness and true freedom.

The Psalmist’s hope is that God speaks as a personal (“my”) rock/strength and redeemer. While the Psalmist relies upon God’s Word to instruct, He also relies upon God’s ear in prayer to inspire him to live out the grace revealed in his life.

Illus. If a person takes a fireplace poker and sticks it inside the fire then the heat will transfer from the wood to the metal poker. The poker can get so hot from the fire that it is able to transfer heat and even burn other things it touches. The relationship of the poker to the fire can transform its identity and function. Likewise, if a Christian is not engaged with God’s Word & God’s ear in prayer with constancy and company (fellowship-accountability), then they will miss out on God’s identity and purpose for their life.

APPLY/THINK
In summary, we are called to look upward to the sky in worship of God, look inward through the Scriptures in discipleship with Christ, and look outward in mission with God’s Spirit.

A closing principle application for us is to employ the principle of 7 with each month participating with the following involvements by God’s grace.

–        4 Sundays (Bible Group & Gathered Worship)

–        1 Love God (small group, one-on-one mentor/prayer, accountability)

–        1 Love Others (service, ministry)

–        1 Lead Generations (meal with non-christian, service/mission)

o   Each One Reach One… applied as an individual or family

 

Benediction & Prayers – I pray (with Paul) that we

“[be] transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2) 

“[have] love abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Php 1:9-11)

“be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:16-17) 

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

 

[1] Derek Kidner, Tyndale Commentary, Psalm 19:2

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 19:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Paragraph thoughts on visual literacy from Dr. Tim Elmore, “In Other Words: The Research Behind Teaching And Learning Through Images”, accessed through http://www.growingleaders.com

[4] http://nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/media/nielsen-survey-media-viewing.html

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 19:title–14). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Some thoughts adapted from http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-heart-you-know-and-the-heart-you-dont

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