Friday, August 1, 2008

We Need To Talk

Psalm 39

I. David Had Said Too Much

A. David was determined to take charge of
what he had to say. "To the chief Musician, even
to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David. I said, I will
take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my
tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while
the wicked is before me." (Psalm 39:1)

1. What a person says can make or break a
testimony. "If any man among you seem to be
religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but
deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is
vain." (James 1:26) Some minds are too small to

2. Speech can generate incalculable
disaster. "For in many things we offend all. If
any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect
man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that
they may obey us; and we turn about their whole
body. Behold also the ships, which though they be
so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are
they turned about with a very small helm,
whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the
tongue is a little member, and boasteth great
things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire
kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of
iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that
it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire
the course of nature; and it is set on fire of
hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and
of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed,
and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can
no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly
poison." (James 3:2-8)

B. The experiment did not work well. "I
was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from
good; and my sorrow was stirred." (Psalm 39:2)

C. Anxiety compounded to the exploding
point. "My heart was hot within me, while I was
musing the fire burned: then spake I with my
tongue, LORD, make me to know mine end, and the
measure of my days, what it is; that I may know
how frail I am." (Psalm 39:3-4)

D. Moses, who lived with words, faced a
similar challenge and made a corollary appeal.
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply
our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)

II. Life Is Too Short for Silence

A. Life is not very long and human dreams
and desires make little impact. "Behold, thou
hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age
is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his
best state is altogether vanity. Selah." (Psalm

B. God is eternal but people are ephemeral; people
must deal with God as the opportunity presents
itself rather than wait for some future time.
"For a thousand years in thy sight are but as
yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the
night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood;
they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like
grass which groweth up. In the morning it
flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is
cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by
thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our
secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For
all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we
spend our years as a tale that is told. The days
of our years are threescore years and ten; and if
by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet
is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is
soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalm 90:4-10)

C. The hopes and ambitions of the human
heart amount to little; the Holy Auditor comes
quickly to settle accounts on Heaven's terms.
"Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely
they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches,
and knoweth not who shall gather them." (Psalm

III. Return To Talking with God

A. Believers trust God to hear them and
take care of them. "And now, Lord, what wait I
for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my
transgressions: make me not the reproach of the
foolish." (Psalm 39:7-8) "Now the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that
ye may abound in hope, through the power of the
Holy Ghost." (Roman 15:13)

B. The God of Providence set the crook in
the lot and He knows what to do; pleading differs
from whining. "I was dumb, I opened not my mouth;
because thou didst it. Remove thy stroke away from
me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand."
(Psalm 39:9-10)

C. Forget the worry and take the final;
the Designer knows what He made and understands
all the properties and strengths of His building
materials. "When thou with rebukes dost correct
man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to
consume away like a moth: surely every man is
vanity. Selah." (Psalm 39:11) "For whom the
Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son
whom he receiveth." (Hebrews 12:6)

D. Believers pray to the Lord Who
understands the problem intimately. "Hear my
prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not
thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with
thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were."
(Psalm 39:12) "Who in the days of his flesh, when
he had offered up prayers and supplications with
strong crying and tears unto him that was able to
save him from death, and was heard in that he
feared;" (Hebrews 5:7)

E. A believer will want an opportunity to
benefit from the lessons of Providence before
leaving the school of this world. "O spare me,
that I may recover strength, before I go hence,
and be no more." (Psalm 39:13)

If You Have It, Flaunt It

Isaiah 60:1-14; Mark 4:21-25 / Psalm 40:1-11

I. Eventually Christianity Will
Become Obvious

A. Jesus used parables to teach believers,
not to obscure the truth from them. "And he said
unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a
bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a
candlestick?" (Mark 4:21)

1. Light cannot be hidden away to advantage or
hoarded like gold; light finds its meaning in its
use. "Holding forth the word of life; that I may
rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run
in vain, neither labored in vain." (Philippians

2. The prophet takes what is obscure to
the world and opens it for the people of God. "I
will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark
sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and
our fathers have told us. We will not hide them
from their children, shewing to the generation to
come the praises of the LORD, and his strength,
and his wonderful works that he hath done."
(Psalm 78:2-4) cf. Perkins, William: The Art of

B. Ultimately, everyone will understand.
"For there is nothing hid, which shall not be
manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but
that it should come abroad." (Mark 4:22) "For the
earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the
glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
(Habakkuk 2:14)

1. All genuine truth comes from God when
it is peeled back to its roots. "That was the
true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world." (John 1:9) "For with thee is the
fountain of life: in thy light shall we see
light." (Psalm 36:9)

2. The whole world benefits as God opens
His parables through His people. "Arise, shine;
for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD
is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness
shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the
people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and
his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the
Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the
brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3)

3. There are no limits for Christians who
understand that darkness is defenseless against
light. "For God shall bring every work into
judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be
good, or whether it be evil." (Ecclesiastes
12:14) "The spirit of man is the candle of the
LORD, searching all the inward parts of the
belly." (Proverbs 20:27)

C. Anyone with the capacity to hear God
should listen to Him. "If any man have ears to
hear, let him hear." (Mark 4:23) "Therefore
judge nothing before the time, until the Lord
come, who both will bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and will make manifest the
counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man
have praise of God." (1 Corinthians 4:5)

II. Pay Attention

A. Listening is an interactive matter with
eternal consequences; there is a direct
relationship between how people listen to God and
what He tells them. "And he said unto them, Take
heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it
shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear
shall more be given." (Mark 4:24)

B. Berea and Thessalonica illustrate the two ways
of hearing and the inevitable consequences of
each. "And the brethren immediately sent away
Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming
thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These
were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in
that they received the word with all readiness of
mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether
those things were so. Therefore many of them
believed; also of honorable women which were
Greeks, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews
of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God
was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither
also, and stirred up the people." (Acts 17:10-13)

C. The Berean pattern works because it is
faithful to the established revelation of God in
Scripture. "Beloved, believe not every spirit,
but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the
world." (1 John 4:1) "But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
that which we have preached unto you, let him be
accursed. As we said before, so say I now again,
If any man preach any other gospel unto you than
that ye have received, let him be accursed."
(Galatians 1:8-9)

D. The detractors who twisted everything He said
so that He had to say everything in parables have
their surrogates in every age. "But there were
false prophets also among the people, even as
there shall be false teachers among you, who
privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even
denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon
themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many
false prophets are gone out into the world." (1
John 4:1)

E. Each person will get more of what that
person most desires. "For he that hath, to him
shall be given: and he that hath not, from him
shall be taken even that which he hath." (Mark

F. I am a pastor because I live to study and
teach the Word of God - every faithful saying of
it. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is
none upon earth that I desire beside thee." (Psalm

More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

More about Jesus; in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom's sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

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