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Sermons

Duration:28 mins 53 secs

Introduction …

  • C.S. Lewis said …

    • It would be difficult to overestimate the significance for Jew and Gentile of the book of Psalms.

    • Here are mirrored the ideals of religious piety and communion with God. Sorrow for sin, foregiveness, walking in darkness unafraid, obedience to God etc

  • I believe the life I live by the grace of God is the best possible life I could have.

    • I experience on a daily basis the Lords intervention in my life…

      • Protection and provision

      • Direction and purpose

      • Freedom from enslavements

      • Forgiveness and freedom from a sense of guilt

      • Hope for the future

    • You can go to any psychiatrist and he will tell you these are the conditions that every person requires for a good life.

  • Does that mean I am perfect and have no problems in life …

    • Not at all …

    • But by the grace of God , thru the Lord Jesus Christ, these things mentioned, are available to me to manage my life …

      • When I read the news and become despondent … I look to Gods word and know that he is in control

      • When I have to make difficult decisions I ask Him for direction

      • When the evil one tempts me to his ways I pray and enjoy the freedom to live by the power of the Holy Spirit of God

      • When I commit sin I am assured by His promises that I have complete forgiveness thru the death of Jesus and my sense of guilt is dealt with

    • So I say to you all …

      • As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ by His Spirit we have the power to live the best life possible.

        • And I suggest that the difficulties that we experience are for two reasons …

          • Primarily the cause is our waywardness from His word

            • When I go it alone…

              • E.g. the history of Israel

          • Secondly the Lord uses difficulties to grow our faith in Him and teach us so that we can teach others … Heb 12;11


  • Where am I going with this …

    • Mercedes Benz salesmen never have a problem sharing the features of the product they are selling…

      • Because they believe it is the best and they are proud of their product.

        • They know the products features well … studied them

        • They have experienced the product because they drive them every day.

          • So they are not scared to speak Mercs …

    • I said to you I live the best life possible because …

      • I depend on the Lord Jesus…

        • He is my designer …

        • He produced me …

        • And by His grace He adds additional features every day.

    • I’m sure many of you agree with me, not so … the best life possible …

  • Question …

    • We surely don’t doubt it is the best life possible …

      • Why are we a bit embarrassed to share it …

        • What is the problem …

    • Over the next month we are going to look at the Psalms of Ascent …

      • And see how good this life is …

  • Whenever you listen to or read about a review on a really good book, the reviewer will end off and say …”It is a must read”

    • The Psalms are a must read for all of us.

      • Full of practical examples, encouragement and advice for life.

Background to Psalms …

  • There were three compulsory festivals in Jerusalem that the Jews had to attend …

    • Passover, harvest, tabernacles.

  • As they climbed up the hill to Jerusalem there would be many travellers together …

    • And they sang together these songs of ascent as they ascended up to the temple.

  • Like the rest of the Psalms these were …

    • Authored by ordinary people who had experienced life in the normal way.

      • So they were people faced with the problems that we can all identify within the normal course of life …

        • Distress and suffering

        • Crisis situations

        • Concerns about the future

        • Political upheavals

        • Sin and guilt …

          • You name it … they are all there.

    • The important part is they also reveal the solution to their problems …

      • And that is what and who they sing about as they come to worship Yahweh

  • So for the next 4 weeks we are going to look at these Psalms of ascent and extract some gems for us to dwell on…

    • Enjoy the ride with us …

Reading … Psalm120: 1-7

The problem…

  • In this Psalm we find God’s man surrounded by unbelievers …

  • These people are quite prepared to tell lies and malign a person’s character if it benefits their position …

    • Those of us who have been in business have probably at least witnessed this or experienced it.

      • When negotiating for new business in order to gain an advantage opposition sales people will often pass disparaging remarks about the standard of your work or product…

        • Remarks that are simply not true.

      • For young people in particular to gain a preferred place in a social group people will marginalise you by casting doubts about you.

        • You know what … did you heard about her… skinner

    • We all know the old adage …

      • Sticks and stone may break my bones but names will never hurt me …

        • It is absolutely not true …

      • The deceitful tongue does hurt … badly … vs 2

        • As South Africans we know all about name calling

      • They cause us to doubt …affect our self-esteem …

        • We withdraw, carry anger … take revenge …

          • It is as the Psalmist says … distressful …

The solution…

  • We need to take note of the Psalmists approach to this problem …

    • Does he defend himself … or retaliate … seek revenge …

      • No … that only escalates the problem …

        • It only adds fuel to the liars claims …


  • The Psalmist says …

    • I call on the Lord in my distress … vs 1

      • Save me O Lord from lying lips …

    • And He hears me …

  • Notice …

    • He does not turn to other people to gain support …

      • Most times it does not help …

      • It just becomes an us and them vindictive standoff …

    • He turns to the Lord …

      • The one who knows all truth …

        • He saves the righteous …vs2

      • The one that really matters

        • He is a man of peace … 7

        • Who better to go to than the prince of peace

      • The one who can take away my distress…

        • Revenge never releases distress …

          • It just internalises hatred …

        • Vengeance is mine says the Lord …

          • The Psalmist leaves it to the Lord to fire the sharp arrow …4

    • So …He places his confidence in the one who answers his cry … Vs 1

Application …

  • I am sure that many of us have experienced this type of situation …

    • Parents have heard the cries of their children who have known…

      • Exclusion from the group at school

      • Cyber bullying …

        • Our natural instinct is to protect …

          • But what protection do we administer.

    • Competitive sportsmen excluded because you make a stand for Christ …

      • You are considered not a team player because drinking etc. is not who you are …

    • In the workplace you are required to tell a lie to save the company …

      • You refuse to do it … consequently marginalised… miss a promotion

    • You don’t join the young moms at school functions and laugh at their promiscuous adventures …

      • Left out because you are considered a prude.

      • Your cry goes up …

    • Lord save me from lying lips.


Who is this Lord who saves …Psalm 121;1-8

  • That is the question the Psalmist asks in this Psalm …

    • Where does my help come from ?

      • My help comes from the Lord …

        • Yes but who is He?

  • Who you go to for help is critical …

    • How do we solve the problem of pregnant school girls …

      • H.I.V. infections

    • Government says give them condoms …

      • Whaaat? How does that solve the problem …

    • The Bible says … Keep the marriage bed pure … Heb 13;4

      • Sex outside of marriage is not right …

        • That solves both of these problems in one go…

    • How can you go to an atheistic world that believes that morality is what you make it and expect an answer to a moral question.

      • Who you go to for help is critical in the short and long term.

  • The Psalmist says …

    • My help comes from the Lord …

      • The maker of heaven and earth. … vs 2

      • The one who does not allow your foot to slip … 3

      • Who watches over you whether you sleep or are awake … 4

        • Protects you day and night …6

        • In every situation … 7

      • Now and in the future …8

        • He has the power and compassion to do all of this …

          • What more do we need.

  • Small wonder as they walk up the hill to Jerusalem they sing the songs of ascent.

    • I rejoice with those who said to me

      • Let us go to the house of the Lord … Psl. 122;1

    • Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion …

      • Which cannot be shaken … Psl. 125.1

    • The Lord has done great things for us …

      • And we are filled with joy… Psl. 126;3

    • Blessed are all who fear the Lord …

      • Who walk in His ways …Psl. 128;1

  • The apostle Paul says …

    • For me to live is Christ …

  • What do you say …??


Challenge …

  • I started by asking the question …

    • Why am I so reluctant to share this wonderful faith with others …

  • It is not because the “Product” is faulty …

    • The Gospel is not the wisdom of man …

      • Some rambling religion we have dreamed up

      • But of God.

  • Mercedes sales people have a passion for their product …

    • It is massively expensive but even in these hard times they make sales …

    • And when buyers pay up the money they believe it is well spent.

  • To sell a product you need 2 things …

    • A good product

    • And a market to sell to …

  • John MacArthur, in reference to the Bible, said …

    • There is nothing more important than the truth …

      • He is correct.

      • We have the product … the Gospel of truth …

    • We need to ensure all of our contacts know that.

  • Joe Bell said there are enough people in Plumstead to ensure each one has 1000 congregants …

    • Not one church has that number.

    • That means the potential for growth here at Medway is huge

  • What are we as Medway doing about it.

    • The world is in panic mode right now …

      • Corona virus

      • Black Monday

      • Unemployment

      • Gender based violence

    • Surely somebody is crying out for help…

      • Where does my help come from …

  • Do we hear their call or do we turn a deaf ear.

    • If we want growth we must go …