Monday, March 14, 2016

They Sang of What They Could Only Dream

I was listening to my pastor’s sermon on Psalm 85 this afternoon and thought I would share some small excerpts with you today. I am so thankful for the preaching I am able to receive and hear every single Sunday morning and even more thankful for the technology that allows me to listen to these sermons and meditate on them during the week. Even more so, I am thankful for a pastor who is willing to afflict us with the harsh truths of our sin and misery but simultaneously never hesitates to give those of us in Christ the comfort of His grace and forgiveness and to powerfully present the Gospel. This particular sermon was on Psalm 85, a Psalm full of rich promise and confidence in God’s steadfast love.

“The problem in your heart is your separation from God...there is no other solution but that our Savior, our God of our Salvation would come. We need Christ in our hearts, in our home, and in Washington D.C. He is an alien there and that is why it is a mess. He is an alien in so many marriages and that’s why they are a mess...Christ is always the solution, whether we speak of personal relationships or international relationships. The problem is sin and Christ is the solution. Dear Saints, we need this Christ.”

“What governs your heart? What rules over it? Paul says in Colossians 3 ‘the peace of Christ’...the confidence that Jesus is everything I need and I have Jesus. Because he is complete, I am complete in him.”

“Are you ready for the horrifying truth? If you are in Christ and you commit a sin, you gave in. You willingly surrendered, because you’re not a slave to sin. You’re a slave to God, bound by love, enslaved to love...consider it this way, the Sons of Korah sing to us and teach us to sing, ‘Do you not know your God never grows tired of forgiving? So why do you grow tired of repenting?’...God does not get tired of forgiving, so don’t get tired of repenting. No, beg him again! Go to your knees again! Cling to forgiveness again! Do not grow tired of confessing sin. One day you won’t have to do it again, you’ll be dead, and you won’t have to do it again. But until that day make the confession of sin your food and drink; make turning away from sin and foolishness your life’s habit. Drive those ruts deep into your heart and mind, for your God is not tired of welcoming you back. He is never tired. He doesn’t quit on you. He will receive you with love again and again.”

"'Surely His salvation is near to those who fear him' (Psalm 85:9). For those who live in the fear of God, salvation is close, it's right next to us. It's not far off. We don't have to wait for it. It's near. We've been restored to God. Now when we speak of salvation, we in the west, we always have abstract meanings for our words, right? What is the word for 'His salvation is near to us' mean? Okay, what is the Hebrew word for 'his salvation'? Yeshua. Jesus is next to you! That's what this verse means. Jesus is with you! If we wrote it in Hebrew, it would say, Yeshua is near you. For those who fear him, Yeshua is close. Jesus is close. He is right next to you. He has come into the world. 

"The Sons of Korah said, 'we need to be brought back to you, but we can't come up to you!' So for those who fear him, he comes down. He comes to us. He comes and he inhabits the sufferings of His people. He comes and He dwells in the misery with us. And there is salvation near us and with us. Jesus is with us and glory dwells in the land. Jesus, who is the glory of God, the exact imprint of his glory (Hebrews 1:3), he who makes known the majesty of God, he who reveals the glory and grace of God to us, his glory dwells among us, it inhabits the praises of his people."

"How will this righteousness get into this unrighteous world? How will this love get into this unlovely world? How will this goodness get into this wicked, rotten world? God will come. God himself will go. 'Righteousness goes before him and makes a path for his feet' (Psalm 85:13). How do we get out of this mess? Jesus joins us in it. How do we get out of this world of sin and misery? Jesus comes and dwells in it with us! How do we get out of this grave? Jesus comes and lays in it. Do you know that spiritually speaking your grave has already been occupied? For Christ laid in your grave for you. There's no room in the casket for you, Jesus has already been there and already left. 

"There's no grave to hold you. There's no sin to enslave you. There's no world or nation falling apart for you to fear. No, in the darkness of this late hour in the West, when all the world is falling down around us, when the sun is setting so deep into the Pacific ocean and we think dawn will never come again--beloved, Christ has come. The hour of dawn is already here. Yes, the sun may be setting on America, I don't know, it doesn't matter. Dawn has come for the church and his kingdom lives in the radiance of his presence. King Jesus is still on the throne. I know it feels like dusk in this nation, I know it feels like dusk in marriages and homes all over, I know that in our own hearts we feel the deepening night, but we are deceived. 

"For we do not sing with the Sons of Korah of the far off day when God might come to His people. We sing in the day of Christ's power, when he has come to his people. What happens when Muslims slaughter Christians? Muslims become Christians. Death doesn't silent the Gospel. Persecution does not quench the church. How is that death and darkness like this coming over the world could actually bring fruit to the kingdom? Because he's come. Because Psalm 85 is sung by the church today in its fullness, in its completion. We sing this in the reality, not in the shadows. They sang of what they could only dream, but we sing of what we have tasted and seen. We sing of the hope that dwells with us. We are in this world of love, power, and Christ's presence and supremacy. 

"Dear saints, God did not quit on his people. In the fullness of time he sent Jesus. In the fullness of time he hunted his people in the face and flesh of Jesus. And now in the hour of Jesus' power, when his spirit has gone out to the nations, how much more will God not quit on his people? There is a great prayer by Oliver Cromwell as he went into battle. I'm not a big fan of Oliver Cromwell, but this was good. On horseback, he looked to the heavens and his soldiers heard him cry out, 'O Lord, on this day when so many of us will forget you, please do not forget us.' Dear saints, your God does not quit, even though you perpetually do. Though you so often quit on him, he does not quit. Be sure of it. Be sure of his victory, be sure of his pursuit. Dear saints, your God does not quit. Be sure of it." 

“Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.” Psalm 85:1-7


  1. Encouraging message! :) It's good to be reminded that God is gracious.


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