This week we examine Psalm 19, which describes both God's general and special revelation. God reveals himself in universal, global ways. God is not hidden. He has and is revealing himself through creation to all races and peoples. But even more vividly and thoroughly, God has revealed himself and his will through his Torah (teaching, instruction). God's Torah is of immense value to us and bring with them great benefits, far better than anything the world promises us. Poetically, the psalmist models for us a proper response to God's revelation and instruction by offering his heart and mind to the Lord.
Psalm 8 is everything a hymn should be as it celebrates the glory and grace of God. Upon gazing at the handiwork of God in creation, the humbled psalmist considers the question, 'What is man?' Man, though seemingly small in this enormous universe has been chosen by God to be exalted, crowned with glory and honor and given dominion over the earth. And though now this dominion is weakened by sin, it is regained and restored by and through our union with Christ.
This week we start a new sermon series in the Psalms. The Psalms are fascinating! The Psalms often poetically express many of our deepest feelings, thoughts and longings. And God intends for them to play a perpetual role in the life of the church. This week we will study the introduction to the Psalms which introduce us to the overall themes of the entire book of Psalms: God's instruction and His coming King.
This morning we are going to examine the reasonableness of faith in the resurrection. There is a plethora of objective, testimonial and historical evidence to the resurrection of Jesus. And if Jesus rose from the dead, then that changes everything about everything. If Jesus said He was going to rise from the dead and then did just that, we have to accept all He said.
Palm Sunday is the day when traditionally the church recognizes the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem for the last week of his life before his crucifixion. Jesus intentionally chose to enter Jerusalem according to the prophecy of Zechariah. And in doing so, He was welcomed as King. Yet, crucified just days later. The people of Jerusalem failed to receive the presence of God in their midst and rejected Jesus' terms of peace. And as a result, suffered terrible judgment. Their judgment stands as a warning for us. May we instead receive Christ and accept his terms of peace that lead to life.
This is our twelfth and final sermon in our series on prayer. We are wrapping up our series by examining the concluding exhortations in James chapter 5. James teaches us that regardless of our circumstance, the proper response is prayer. We should take every concern to our Sovereign Lord. James brings specific attention to those who are suffering or sick. Prayer is the prescribed antidote to our suffering and sickness. Through prayer and petition we receive from God the strength, stamina and healing- physical and spiritual- that we need.
We look to Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesus as an example to follow and also strive to be strengthened by Christ's indwelling presence through the Spirit. Awareness of God's great love for us in Christ is essential and transformative for healthy prayer lives.
For all who trust in Christ, God is both the source and sustainer of that faith. If we desire to see our faith grow then our knowledge and understanding of who God is and what he has done for all believers must increase. Like Paul, may none of us cease asking God to grant us greater revelation and knowledge of Him.
Many people experience anxiety around a sense of self and purpose. It’s often said that a Christian should find one’s identity “in Christ”. But, what does that really mean? We are also aware that we should take our concerns to God in prayer. But, how do we experience God’s direction for our lives if he doesn’t speak audibly? How do I separate God’s leading from my own desires? We might just find these answers somewhere between the garden of Gethsemane and Wreck-It Ralph.
We all go through trying times when it doesn’t seem that God is near, or that he is not answering our prayers. More often than not, we find in hindsight that God was there all along - comforting us, guiding us and protecting us. We were just unable to see it because of the circumstances we were in. But are there times when God is actually not answering us? Times when our relationship with God is so broken that we are not communicating? Sadly, yes. Today, we are going to look at two portions of Scripture where we are told that God is not answering us, and the reasons why. The good news is this is not a death sentence! God desires a reconciled relationship with us when our actions have damaged that relationship, and He has provided a way back.