Greetings! Last week, I began a Sunday morning series in the book of Psalms. In the first sermon, on Psalm 84, I encouraged you to look at the Psalms as a guide to prayer, but to think of those prayers in three ways – from an Old Testament perspective, a New Testament perspective and a personal perspective.
From the Old Testament perspective, I encouraged you to think about the Psalm as a race course, a track with a starting line and a finish line. Knowing the course, you know where to run! From the New Testament perspective, I encouraged you to look at the Psalm with the understanding that Jesus has already run the course, won the race for us, and now Jesus runs alongside us, never leaving or forsaking us! The final perspective is personal. Read the Psalms as if they were your own words. When you come across a first-person pronoun, insert yourself! Make it personal. Let the words of the Psalms speak for you and into your heart and mind.
Finally, I challenged you to read with three thoughts in mind. First, trusting in the sovereignty of God! Believing that God is in control, and nothing happens apart from God’s knowledge, can help us deal with difficult situations. It is an exercise in trust to live in that middle section of Psalm 84, going from strength to strength, leaving everywhere we travel better than when we found it! Trust is the key here.
Next, pray for desire, a longing for God. Start where you are. If you only have a little desire for God, work with it! Go to God in prayer and ask God to increase your desire for God, increase your desire to pray more, increase your desire to read more Scripture. If you pray for increase desire, stand by!
Last, expect God to show up! Expect God to increase your desire. Expect God to honor your commitment to Trust in God’s sovereignty! If you pray without expectation, you defeated before you begin.
Trust, pray for greater desire, and expect God to show up! Let’s make this New Year one in which we see all of us grow spiritually, for the glory of God!
Below are the Ten Psalms I’m using. We started with Psalm 84 and we will conclude with the most popular one, Psalm 23 (It makes me smile to think of being in my 23rd year here at Graham and reflecting on Psalm 23!) This Sunday...Psalm 40!
Grace and peace to you all,
Top Ten Psalms
1/3 – Psalm 84 – My King
1/10 – Psalm 40 (Communion Sunday) – My Strength
1/17 – Psalm 1 – My Delight
1/24 – Psalm 37:1-9 – My Security
1/31 – Psalm 117 – My Praise
2/7 – Psalm 46 – Scottish Heritage Sunday – My Refuge
2/14 – Psalm 62 (Communion Sunday) – My Rock
2/21 – Psalm 138 – My Song
2/28 – Psalm 121 – My Help
3/6 – Psalm 23 – My Shepherd