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In this Psalm David is completely aware and in awe of God’s mighty power and presence.
1. David’s Astonishment
Psalm 139:1-6 “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
God knows everything there is to know about us and David was astonished at that thought.
God's infinite power baffles the human mind. Our mortal brains cannot comprehend or fathom the Almightiness of God. Job 11:7 says: “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.”
2. David’s Affirmation
You know what David begins to understand … there is no escaping the presence of God.
Psalm 139:7-12 “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
Unlike the devil, God is omnipresent. A person may be able to run from God, but they cannot hide from God.
3. David’s Acknowledgement
In the midst of David affirming God’s almighty power, David now acknowledges God’s wonderful person. As powerful as God is, He also has precious countless thoughts towards us.
Psalm 139:13-18 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fear-fully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
God did not create us to hate us; God loves His creation and desires His best to be fulfilled in their lives. It is amazing how some people charge God foolishly, especially when something bad happens to somebody.
Tozer said “Some cannot understand why God lets man die; but I cannot understand why God lets man live, because he has forfeited all right to live, by his iniquity.”
4. David’s Assertion
Psalm 139:19-22 “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
A man of God said “If men insist on being the enemies of such a great God, they richly deserve their fate.”
5. David’s Attention
David has his eyes on the Lord; he takes the time to mark out the wicked; but now David turns his attention to his own heart.
Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
How important it is to practice the presence of God. Being mindful of the Lord is great and essential and being aware of wickedness around us is both sobering and wise. However to call on the Lord, to help us focus on our own deceitful hearts, is being conscious of the presence of God in our own life and that is key.
Hebrews 12:28-29 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: vs 29 for our God is a consuming fire.”
There is a way that God desires to be served, worshipped and loved. As God’s servants under the new covenant of grace, we should seek diligently what is acceptable unto the Lord, and not take His grace for granted.
Tozer once said “To great sections of the church, the art of worship has been lost entirely and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program’.”
Some churches today are searching for what works to better serve God rather than searching the Word to see what God approves of for his service.
Ephesians 5:10 “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
2. With Reverence
Hebrews 12:28-29 “… let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear…”
To serve God “with reverence” simply means to have the utmost respect towards God, to have a Holy respect. John the Baptist was a great example.
Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
To unloose the sandal strap was the lowliest servant’s task. John the Baptist realized that he was not worthy to take off the shoes of Jesus let alone to have the privilege to wash His feet. Though John had a correct outlook he still served God by submitting to the will of the Father which also demonstrates reverence.
To serve God “with reverence” is to have a humble walk with God. Notice what Micah mentions:
Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
“True humility is thinking rightly of thyself, not meanly. When you have found out what you really are, you will be humble, for you are nothing to boast of. To be humble will make you safe. To be humble will make you happy. To be humble will make music in your heart when you go to bed. To be humble here will make you wake up in the likeness of your Master by and by.” (Spurgeon)
Before anyone has the desire to serve God almighty they must have a humble walk with Him. Walking with God is the foundation of what we are as Christians. Our walk with God will help us serve Him acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
3. Godly fear
Hebrews 12:28-29 “… let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear…”
To have “godly fear” is to be super sensitive to the things of God and to His ways.
To have “godly fear” means we cannot be indifferent to what God requires of us. Noah was a perfect example, the Bible states in Hebrew 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
To have “godly fear” means to respond to God’s instructions.
There are two motivations that will help us serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; notice the first:
Hebrews 12:28, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved…”
1. What we have secured in Christ.
To be part of God’s eternal Kingdom – a promise that is fulfilled in Christ – is something to certainly look forward to. Christ is our blessed hope and our labour – in Christ and for Christ – is not in vain.
2. Who we see in Christ.
Hebrews 12:29 “For our God is a consuming fire.”
A man of God said “Grace gives us no license to forget God’s holiness. He is our Father, but He is also a consuming fire. In the Old Testament, God put distance between the sacred Ark of the Covenant and the rank and file of the people even when the camp was on the march. The distance has now been removed, but the burning holiness remains.”
It is absolutely amazing to know that Christ is our friend, but He is also our God and God ought to be obeyed.
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…”
There are two different kinds of meaning to the Word “Power”. The context of Scripture will help to identify the meaning of the word as well as looking at the Greek words. One refers to Ability and the other to Authority.
The Gospel is the Power of God to Save sinners
Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
In Mark’s Gospel we are told what to teach/preach.
Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Paul tells us the reason that he is not ashamed of preaching the Gospel of Christ.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Why wasn’t Paul ashamed of the Gospel of Christ?
a. Paul knew the Substance of the Gospel
The Gospel is the good news. We have good news to tell the world. Christ came to seek and to save the lost. It is called the Gospel of Peace.
Romans 10:15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
As disciples of the Lord we must be ready to go forth teaching others how they can have peace with God.
Ephesians 6:15 “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
b. Paul knew the Source of the Gospel
There are so many false and distorted gospels today that only have the power to curse people to hell. Those that preach a false gospel will one day pay for their evil.
Galatians 1:6-9 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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.”
It is the Gospel of Christ that has the power to save sinners from hell.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
c. Paul knew the Strength of the Gospel.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
The power is found in the Cross of Christ, for it is the blood of Christ that has the power to cleanse a sin stained soul.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
A person can only have victory over death and hell in Christ alone. Barnes said, “God alone is the author of this victory. He formed the plan; he executed it in the gift of his Son; and he gives it to us personally when we come to die.”
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
CH Spurgeon once “The Gospel is preached in the ears of all—it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the Gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher, otherwise men would be the converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning, otherwise it would consist in the wisdom of man.”
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: vs 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
It is the preacher’s responsibility to preach the Word as it is written, and it is the Holy Spirit’s business to work through the Word in people’s lives. Paul’s preaching may not have been inspiring on a human level, but on a spiritual level it had power because he stuck to preaching the powerful Word of God.
To know that God works together for good in the life of His people is one thing, but it is another thing to begin to thank God for what He allows in our life. It is good to grow to understand the heart of God in the midst of a storm. Job, Paul, Jonah, and David were faced with distinct trials and struggles and in the middle of their anguish they understood the heart of God. As a matter of fact, James exhorts us to count it all joy when we are faced with different kinds of trials.
Trials that Work us
James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James states that trials test our faith, and in the process, work character in our life. Trials teach us how to be content. Philippians 4:11
Trials that Make us
Job 23:10-11”But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.”
You know the story of Job who lost many things in his life – his business, his children, and his health. Job was tested greatly. However, he soon understood that in his darkest hour God was making him. Job said, “I shall come forth as gold.”
Trials that Help us
Jonah 2:1-4 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
It is never wise to go against God’s calling. God will never leave His children but will chastise them. (Proverbs 3:11-12) Jonah’s problem was that he lost his focus, and his vision was marred by bitterness. God prepared a great storm for a purpose. God wanted Jonah to refocus and to return to a life in the will of God. Jonah said, “Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.”
Trials that Break us
Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
When you read the Scriptures you will notice that God is not a respecter of persons, even a person who has a heart for God. As the Word of God states in Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Please note that not all trials are a result of sin. However, David paid a great price and Psalm 51 is a Psalm of David’s repentance. Through David’s storm, and God’s mercy, David realised that God delights in broken people that take God seriously.
It has been said, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
Trials that Humble us
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
For any Christian to finish well, the grace of God is key; and the grace of God is given to the lowly. Paul would have never finished what God called him to do without God’s grace.
1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
Paul realised when his prayers were not answered the way he wished, that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness; for when we are weak, then we are strong in God's grace through Christ.
We live in a sin cursed world with wickedness on the increase. Many are affected by the evil that we see around us, but one thing is for certain, God is not to be blamed.
Roman 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
A. Torrey knew the meaning of this verse, and he called it “a soft pillow for a tired heart.”
Many of us have rested in Romans 8:28 when faced with an unknown trial. “We know” is used about five times in Romans, and it refers to common knowledge of the Christian – that which God reveals to us. Charles Spurgeon used to say, “I do not need anyone to tell me how honey tastes; I know.” And we know God is good and is for those that love Him and trust Him.
Here are some things to consider:
1. God is not evil, nor the cause of evil.
1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
2. God is not responsible for the bad decisions people make.
James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”
3. God is aware of the evil that takes place.
Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
4. Nothing takes God by surprise. God is ALL KNOWING, but man must still be responsible for his actions and decisions.
John 6:64 “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”
5. It is God’s choice whether He desires to intervene in certain circumstances of people’s lives.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
Philippians 2:27 “For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”
6. God, at times, disciplines His children in love when they stray.
Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD love the correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
a. When Jonah rebelled, the Lord prepared for him a great fish.
b. David was judged (lost his son) because of his sin.
7. People suffer from the bad decisions they make.
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
8. People suffer from the bad decisions of others.
Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
9. God is fully aware of our circumstances, and God can use the evil that is done to us for good.
Genesis 50:19-20 “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
Job 1:12 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
10. God knows what is best for us. The Lord may not always answer prayer according to what we would ask and hope for. Paul understood that God uses the trials in our life to help us stay humble and finish the course of God’s will.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient forthee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, thatthe power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
In the middle of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle cannot help but to thank God for the greatest gift ever given to man. Paul calls it the “unspeakable gift”.
When you stop to meditate about everything that surrounds this gift, you cannot help but be in awe and in amazement of the salvation that God has given us through Christ; it truly leaves the believer speechless. Not enough words in the world can describe the beauty and the glory of God and His Character. God is absolutely awesome!
The extra wonder of the gift is that The God of all Grace is the Lord and King of our life.
I heard a man of God named Shadrach Meshach Lockridge who was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church share a sermon on “That’s my King”. I will share some it with you today.
That’s My King, by Lockridge
…The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews. He’s the King of Israel. He’s the King of Righteousness. He’s the King of the Ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of Glory. He’s the King of kings, and He’s the Lord of Lords. That’s my King.
I wonder, do you know Him?
My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful.
Do you know Him?
He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Saviour. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Saviour.
I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleansed the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captive. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent. And He beautifies the meek.
I wonder if you know Him?
He’s the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory.
Do you know Him? Well…
His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. And His yoke is easy. And His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you. Yes…
He’s indescribable! He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hand. You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him. Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him, and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
Yeah! That’s my King, that’s my King.
Proverb 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:”
There are 3 ways in which we can receive reproof.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
John 16:8 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
Psalm 141:5 “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.”
10 points of Receiving or Rejecting Reproof & Correction
1. Christians who Receive Reproof will increase, and grow in their Christian faith.
Proverbs 9:8-9 “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
2. Christians who Receive Reproof will not Backslide.
Proverbs 10:17 “He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.”
3. Christians who Reject Reproof are Silly and Foolish.
Proverbs 12:1 “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.”
4. Christians who Receive Reproof will be Honoured.
Proverbs 13:18 “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.”
5. Christians who Receive Reproof Demonstrate Spiritual Maturity.
Proverbs 15:5 “A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.”
6. Christians who Reject Reproof will Die Spiritually, and most likely will Die a Physical Death.
Proverbs 15:10 “Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.”
7. Wise Christians Receive Reproof instantly, Foolish Christians learn the hard way.
Proverbs 17:10 “A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.”
8. Christians who Reject Reproof do not like Godly Counsel, nor will they seek Godly Counsel.
Proverbs15:12 “A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.”
9. Good Godly Reproof is Hard to do, but Demonstrates True Love.
Proverbs 27:5-6 “Open rebuke is better than secret love. vs 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Ecclesiastes 7:5 “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.”
10. Christians who Reject Reproof will end up being destroyed.
Beginning from Psalm 90 and reading through to Psalm 100, we see clearly that David was meditating on the character of God and praising Him accordingly. He rejoices in what God has done, is doing, and will do. Arriving then at Psalm 101, David penned down what I like to call, “The Psalm of Separation,” or, “The Psalm of Commitment”.
This Psalm is David’s commitment to God that he will walk with integrity in all godliness and uprightness. Verse one presents the theme of his praise (mercy and judgment) and the object of his praise (unto thee, O LORD). Verse two records David’s commitment to the Lord.
The remainder of the Psalm, then, goes on to elaborate with specific detail what he meant by verse 2. In verses 1-4, David is focusing on dealing with himself before God. In verses 5-8, David is focusing on dealing with others before God.
The purpose of making any commitment to God is so the committed one will always resort back to what he ‘officially’ promised to do. Being committed is not a bad thing – it’s a good thing, but it must be a commitment to God and His ways, not ours. Commitment is good, but what we commit to may not be so good; therefore, we must be careful. When we sing “Have Thine Own Way, Lord,” what some of us actually mean is “Give Me My Way, Lord”— it doesn’t work that way. Commitment is on the basis of what God says and wills for your life. Commitment is when I consciously acknowledge the Word and will of God, and pledge before God to walk in that way.
An illustration that comes to my mind is an anchor. Just as one, at the command of his Captain, would let down the anchor of the ship to keep the ship from drifting, so ought we in like manner, in response to the commands of God, let down our anchor of commitment in order to keep ourselves from drifting.
If the Captain, or even others on board, notice the ship is drifting in any way, the anchor must be checked and re-committed to keep the ship from drifting. Though we at times might wander off in our own ways, we must always come back to our anchor of commitment to keep ourselves from drifting.
We all have an anchor, but we all have not let down our anchor. Our anchor of commitment is God’s Word, and unless we let down the anchor we will be drifting. Some have let down their anchor, but have been drifting and don’t care to return to their anchor to check it and re-commit it; till then, you will continue to drift.
Have you offered up a psalm of commitment to God ?
Have you let down your anchor?
Is your anchor still holding or are you drifting?
Consider David’s commitment:
Psa 101:1 A Psalm of David.
When Stephen was stoned to death, many of the other disciples were persecuted causing them to travel as far as Antioch. As faithful witnesses to Christ and obeying the great commission, they preached the gospel.
Acts 11:21 “And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.”
Many people in Antioch came to Christ, and it was there that the name “Christian” was first given to them. Acts 11:26b “… the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
”The Church in Jerusalem heard the good news and endeavoured to send Barnabas to encourage, teach and disciple them. Acts 11:22 “Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.”
When Barnabas arrived he saw the hand/grace of God at work in the lives of people and rejoiced. Acts 11:23 “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad,”
It is a wonderful and exciting to see God at Work and to be a part of His work. Praise the Lord!
1, Barnabas’ MESSAGE to the SAINTS
Acts 11:23 “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”
He exhorted them to be faithful to the Lord. Purpose of Heart = to be fixed, firm, steadfast, unmovable and committed in their decision and not wavering. To cleave unto the Lord = to be one with, stuck on, inseparable, to remain following the Lord whole-heartedly. (Joshua 22:5)
2. Barnabas' MINISTRY to the SINNERS
Acts 11:24 “…much people was added unto the Lord.”
As Barnabas ministered to the saints, he also would have witnessed to other sinners that knew not the Lord. He was soul sensitive, because he was Spirit filled.
3. Barnabas MADE by the SPIRIT
Acts 11:24 “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:”
It is amazing to me how the Holy Spirit stops here to make a comment on the character of Barnabas. God would have all of His servants to be thus.
4. Barnabas’ MINDSET
Acts 11:25-26 “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: (26) And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.”
Barnabas’ main concern was for the work of the Lord and to see people go on for the Lord. He had a co-labouring Spirit and sought after Paul. He did not care for a man centred ministry. AMEN and AMEN!
(Luke 10:1-2) “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. vs 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
In the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry He gathered the twelve disciples together to teach, train, and to give them opportunities to reach others for Christ. As well as the twelve we see Jesus appoint seventy labourers for a specific task. The work of the ministry is certainly not limited to only twelve.
1. The Mission
(Luke 10:1-2) “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also…”
The seventy that were sent out would be instrumental to prepare the way for the Lord in that particular city. As the Lord has given us the great commission, we are to prepare the way for the gospel by being witnesses for Christ. The message we carry is the precious Gospel – the good news that Jesus Saves. The Ministry is about the Lord, and not us. Luke 10:16
2. The Method
Luke 10:1“…and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place…”
Like the twelve disciples, the Lord sends them out two by two. The Lord knows that certain places can be dangerous. However, having a partner go out witnessing with you is practical, encouraging, and rewarding.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.”
3. The Man
Luke 10:2 “…pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is looking for Labourers. Before Jesus sends the seventy out, He gives them clear and sober instructions describing a true labourer.
a. Selfless, Sacrifices, and Suffers. – Luke 9:57-58
b. Separated to the Gospel – Luke 9:59-60
c. Single-minded and Steadfast – Luke 9:61-62
4. The Mission Field
The mission field consists not only of labour intensive work, but it is also a battlefield. We are told to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Not only that, but it is a place where there are savages, animals that wish to tear apart the work of God, the souls of men, and the Gospel seed-sower.
(Luke 10:3) “Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.”
There are 3 kinds of people on the mission field.
a. Wolves (God haters) – Luke 10:3
b. Wasters (God rejecters) – Luke 10:10-11
c. Worshippers (God receivers) – Luke 10:5-7
We are not to waste time with people who disrespect and vehemently reject the Gospel. Certainly contending for the faith has its place. However, we are to seek to reach people that are willing to hear the Gospel and not tread all over it like a pig that treads on precious pearls.
(Matthew 7:6) "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."