"If only I had a curriculum! I don't know enough to teach my children well about God. I don't have anything short and memorable that sums up everything they need to know about their Savior. We're not good at memorizing things, I'm terrible at writing music and making up songs, and the Bible is so big and complicated!"
To all the moms and dads who have ever felt that way, this sermon is for you. Would you believe it if I told you that God has provided ready-made, memorable, theologically precise and aesthetically gorgeous teaching and memory aids that the most humble Christian can use to learn about Him and to teach her children about Him? That these aids have been used in every church, in every country, in every century, and that to know them is a passport to instant Christian fellowship? That you can not only know what was on Jesus' playlist, but you can sing those same songs? All of that and far, far more is to be found in the one hundred and fifty Psalms that lie before us this morning. Sisters, mothers — you have everything you need to be a theologian, right here in these Psalms. They are literally for instruction, as we will see in a moment discussing Psalm 1. Let them set your priorities in teaching your children. Let them be what your family memorizes, what you sing together, what serves as the soundtrack to your most important moments. Why are we letting Nashville, Motown, and Hollywood create the music that accompanies our lives and trains our desires when we have the songs of the great king to guide us in the ways of righteousness?
…for fellow believers that they would, by God's grace, be a blessing to others through their godly behavior, since the Lord's eyes are upon the righteous and His ear is open to their prayers. 1 Pet 3:8-13 (quotes Psa 34:12-16 in vv10-12)
II. Prominently Note…
A proper spiritual diet not only includes daily Bible reading and prayer, but both are supplemented by regular attendance in a local congregation. Without fellowship with likeminded believers, our understanding of Scripture will be perverted; and moreover, our prayer lives will be weakened since we will not be able to pray passionately, convincingly with conviction "OUR Father…" "Give US… OUR" "Forgive US OUR" "Lead US" "Deliver US". (see Heb 10:24-25)
While SermonAudio, YouTube, Radio, television and recorded sermons are good and useful, they can never replace our need for actually being spiritually fed in fellowship with other believers from Spirit-filled preaching in the obedient attendance of Spirit-filled believers. This is why "Internet Church" is a form of apostasy. To substitute church attendance for these aforementioned mediums is not only open disobedience to the Lord's command to gather, but is particularly antichrist which the denies the harmonious gospel of eternal fellowship (viz. eternal communion in the Tri-une God; also the incarnation of God in Christ to fellowship among fallen mankind; etc.)
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Out of the Seventh Seal, Christ's consequence of Man's Sins (Seven being the number for God) whose consequences formed the first six Seals (Six being the number for Men). It begins with mercy and ends in our passage with the exhibition of Christ's holiness on earth springing forth from our holy prayers asking Him to come quickly; i.e., in His proper time.
1 Peter 4:7-8
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."
…with thanksgiving for brothers and sisters in Christ because of their love of Jesus and faith toward Him. Philemon 4-6 (emphasizing vv4-5; see v7)
…for those same brothers or sisters in Christ, asking the heavenly Father to grace them with a powerful sharing of their faith so that others may be blessed with a full knowledge of what God has done in them through Christ. Philemon 4-6 (emphasizing v6)
Revelation 8:3-5 recapitulates the cries of God's people for justice in Revelation 6:9-11.
"The unity of John's book . . . is . . . like that of a musical theme with variations, each variation adding something new to the significance of the whole composition . . . Each new series of visions both recapitulates and develops the themes already stated in what has gone before." (G. B. Caird)
In the middle of this magnificent symphony, we suddenly have a 30 intermission of complete silence.
Revelation 10:4; Deuteronomy 29:29; and 2 Corinthians 12:4 teach us that there are things God does not want us to know. If we knew these secret things, we would be tempted to violate God's revealed will in Scripture.
Habakkuk 2:20 and Zechariah 2:13 declare that God's presence demands complete and silent stillness. That silence is a summons to the entire world to shut its mouth at his judgment.
Revelation 20:11-14 teaches that everyone will be condemned to hell, and each mouth will be silenced before God (Romans 3:19). The only ones who will escape are those whose names are written in the book of life (Revelation 20:15).
Do you know if your name is written there? Holy Communion is a good time to repent and put our trust in the finished work of Christ.
Devotional for Midweek Prayer Meeting *
…for fellow believers you have shared the gospel with or have disciple; and thank God for their hearts for the gospel (I remember your tears). 2 Tim 1:3-4 (see Psa 126:5)
…for those fellow believers who are merciful and compassionate to the peril of other believers that they may receive a double portion of God's mercy, both to that believer and also to his or her household. 2 Tim 1:16-18 (see Matt 5:7)
…that God the Son will be glorified in our lives, just as God the Father will. 2 Tim 4:17-18 (emphasizing, v18b; see 1 Cor 10:31)
…that the presence of the Lord Jesus will be with the spirit of your pastor and others in church leadership. 2 Tim 4:22 (emphasizing v22a; see 1 Sam 3:19)
NOTE: Paul also concludes his pastoral epistles (1 Tim 6:21; 2 Tim 4:22; Titus 3:15) in the same way he concludes every one of his epistles: Rom 16:20; 1 Cor 16:23; 2 Cor 13:14; Gal 6:18; Eph 6:24; Phil 4:23; Col 4:18; 1 Thess 5:28; 2 Thess 3:18; Philemon 1:25 (covered in Lesson 22 on 6/14/23)
Devotional for Midweek Prayer Meeting *
…with thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus Christ for the privilege and strength to serve Him when once we were insolent opponents of His gospel. 1 Tim 1:12-14 (vv12-13a; see Rom 5:6-10; note also that it is permissible to pray to the Lord Jesus)
…with thanksgiving for the overflowing grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus and the faith and love we received that are in the Lord Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:12-14 (vv13b-14; see Eph 2:8-9; 1 Jn 4:8)
…with supplication, intercession, and thanksgiving for all sorts of people, especially for those in authority, that we may lead a peaceable, quiet, and godly lives with dignity in all areas of our lives. 1 Tim 2:1-2 (see Jer 29:7)
…without anger or quarrelling, and also because we have committed to Christ in obedient & honorable works (lifting holy hands, v8b), as well as behavior becoming good and humble Christian witnesses (vv9-10). 1 Tim 2:8-10 (see Jas 5:16)