Friday, January 19, 2018

God Is Awesome! Psalm 145

Introduction
Almost 5 year ago considered this psalm on the occasion of Elise Anderson's baptism.

It came back into my radar lately because of a personal reading project in John Calvin's Institutes.

 Calvin organizes the Institutes around whom God is.
Throughout the four books, Calvin keeps on coming back to Psalm 145 because it emphasizes how awesome God is.

 For Calvin, Psalm 145 provided a great summary of the theology of God.

I often wonder what drove great men like John Calvin to do the great things they did.

 I think the answer is in that they did not care about during great things.

They were too enraptured with the greatness and awesomeness of God to be concerned with themselves and their greatness.

When Bill Hybels, the founder of Willow Creek Community Church and the movement around it, became a Christian, he became quickly frustrated with the apathy he noticed was prevalent in the church.


 Mr. Hybels may have been correct in his assessment of the church as being apathetic, but I think John Calvin (actually the Bible) offers a better solution for apathy – a robust, full, biblical view of the greatness and awesomeness of God.Psalm 145 helps us see God as he has revealed himself to us.
I.             The Awesomeness of God in Psalm 145

II.          Six Practical Fruit of Realizing That God Is Awesome

A.  Humility

1.    There is nothing that will put us in our place, nothing that will correct our distorted view of ourselves, nothing that will yank us out of our arrogance, or nothing that will take the winds out of the sails of our self-righteousness like standing, without defense, before the awesome glory of God.

2.    In the face of his glory we are left naked with no glory whatsoever to hold before ourselves or anyone else.

a.    As long as we are comparing myself to others, we can always find someone whose existence seems to be an argument for how righteous we are.

b.   But if we compare the filthy rags of our righteousness to the pure and forever unstained linen of God's righteousness, we want to run and hide in heartbreaking shame.

3.    Somewhere along the way in life, too many of us have forgotten who we are.

a.    We have a bloated, distorted, grandiose view of ourselves that renders us largely unapproachable and allows us to justify things they think, desire, say, and do that are not biblically justifiable.

b.   When we are too much in awe of us, we set up to be self-righteous, controlling, overconfident, judgmental, unfalteringly opinionated, unwittingly building a kingdom whose throne will be inhabited by us, no matter how much we are able to convince ourselves that we do it all for the glory of God.

B.   Tenderness

1.    The humility that seeing God as he is in his awesomeness is alone able to produce in our hearts tenderness toward the people around me who are in need of grace because we too will know that we are in desperate need of grace.

2.    No one gives grace better than a person who is deeply persuaded that he needs it himself and is being given it in Christ.

a.    This tenderness causes us to be gracious, gentle, patient, understanding, and hopeful in the face of the sin of others, while never compromising God's holy call.

b.   It's hard to bring the gospel to people we are looking down our noses at or neither like nor respect.

3.    In the face of the sin of others, awe-inspired tenderness frees us from being an agent of condemnation or from asking the law to do what only grace can accomplish and motivates us to be a tool of that grace.

C.  Passion

1.    No matter what is or isn't working in our lives, no matter what difficulties or battles we are facing, the immeasurable glory of God gives us reason to get up in the morning and do what we have been gifted and called to do with enthusiasm, courage, and confidence.

2.    Our joy isn't handcuffed to the surrounding circumstances or relationships.

a.    We have reason for joy because we are chosen children and conscripted servants of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the great Creator, the Savior, the sovereign, the victor, the one who does reign and will reign forever.

b.   He is our Father, our Savior, and our boss.

3.    Our passion for life is not about how we are being received; it flows out of the reality that we have been received by him.

4.    Our enthusiasm is not because people like us, but because he has accepted us in the Beloved One.

5.    Our passion is not the result of our life being as glorious as we thought it could be, but because he is eternally and unchangeably glorious.

6.    So, we preach, teach, counsel, lead, and serve with a gospel passion that inspires and ignites the same in the people around us (the next generation).

D. Confidence

1.    God is our confidence and ability.

2.    He is ever-present and ever-willing.

3.    He is all-powerful and all-knowing.

4.    He is boundless in love and glorious in grace.

5.    He does not change, and he is faithful forever.

6.    His Word will not cease to be true.

7.    His power to save will never be exhausted.

8.    His rule will not run out.

9.    He will never be conquered by one greater than he.

10.    We can do what we have been called to do with confidence, not because of who we are but because he is our Father, and he is glorious in every way.

E.  Discipline

1.    There are unsuccessful times in everyone's life.

a.    There are times when the naive expectations we have had of what it all would be like have proven to be just that—naive.

b.   There will be times when there seems to be little fruit as the result of our labors and little hope of that changing anytime soon.

c.    There are times when we will think we have been betrayed and we feel alone.

2.    So, it is vital that our discipline is rooted in something deeper than a horizontal assessment of how things are going.

3.    It is the awesome glory of God's existence, character, plan, presence, promises, and grace that gives us reason to work hard and not give up, no matter whether we are in a "good" season or one that is stormy.

F.   Rest

1.    As we face our own weaknesses and the messiness of life, what gives us rest of heart?

2.    It is the knowledge that there is nothing too hard for the God whom we serve.

3.    It is the surety that all things are possible with him.

4.    It is knowing that the one who made all those promises on which we base our lives is faithful.

5.    There may seem to be many horizontal reasons to be anxious, but we will not let our hearts be captured by worry or fear, because the God of inestimable glory has made this promise: "I will be with you."

6.    We don't have to deny or minimize reality in order to feel okay, because God has invaded our existence with his glory, and we can rest, even in the brokenness of this life.

Conclusion


Run now to your Father of awesome glory.  Confess the offense of your boredom.  Plead for eyes that are open to the 360-degree, 24/7 display of glory to which you have been blind.  Determine to spend a certain portion of every day in meditating on his glory.  Cry out for the help of others.  And remind yourself to be thankful for Jesus, who offers you his grace even at those moments when that grace isn't nearly as valuable to you as it should be.  Then, and only then, we will be able to praise him to the next generation and declare his mighty acts.


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Monday, January 15, 2018

MEMORY WORK: This Week's Catechism Questions (1/14/18)

This Week's Memory Work:

First Catechism Questions: 
FC 55 – What must you do to be saved? I must repent of my sins, believe in Christ and live a new life. 
FC 56 – How do you repent of your sins? By being sorry enough for my sin to hate it and forsake it. 
FC 57 – Why must you hate and forsake your sin? Because it displeases God. 
FC 58 – What does it mean to believe in Christ? To trust in him alone for my salvation.
Shorter Catechism Questions:    
WSC 39 – What is the duty which God requires of man? The duty which God requires of man, is obedience to his revealed will. 
WSC 40 – What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience? The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law. 
WSC 41 – Wherein is the moral law summarily comprehended? The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments. 
WSC 42 – What is the sum of the Ten Commandments? The sum of the Ten Commandments is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.


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UPCOMING EVENTS: This Week's Announcements (1/14/18)

Upcoming Events / Announcements   

January 11-17 - Marriage and Family Counseling Class at WRS
January 17 - Annual Congregational Meeting at 7:00pm 
January 21 - Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 
January 22 - March for Life at Capitol Steps - 12 noon
Last Updated 1/14/2018

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