Psalms Of Blessing In Our Lives
Psalms of Blessing in Our Lives
Good morning. The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing and summer is past. It may be just me, but this summer seems to have passed very quickly. I look at the changing of the seasons around here as a blessing. True there are things we do not like about them - the too wet Spring, the too hot Summer, the too stormy Autumn and the too cold Winter. Yet that are many things we do like about the change of the seasons as well.
Today I’d like to spend some time in the book of Psalms and look at some things from many different Psalms. As I was going through the Book of Psalms, I came across several verses that had something in common, they're talking about the different blessings that God gives us in our life. The sermon this morning is simply a compilation of these Psalms.
Turn with me to Psalm 68:19 – “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!” [NKJV] This Psalm reminds us that we are daily being loaded with blessings and benefits. Every single day of our life God is giving us blessings. Not just one here then another one over there. The way in which God is blessing us is He's daily loading us with blessings and benefits, one after another, after another.
In the fall our minds turn to thoughts of the holidays. This month we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a celebration which was established to remind us to be thankful for all we have. Traditionally in many cultures this time of year, the time of harvests, people celebrate what they have received. It is sad, I think, that the rest of the year they rarely give thought to what they have been blessed with.
For those of us in the Kingdom we know that God is always giving us blessings and throughout scripture are reminders to us that we should be thankful for these blessings.
For example, one of the main subjects in the book of Colossians is the importance of making a major part of our prayer and our worship to God – thanksgiving, recognizing the blessings that we have in our life.
We should recognize where the blessings are coming from, that they're being given to us by God and then in turn we are grateful and thankful to God for all these blessing that He's giving us in our life. That being said, now let's get into the body of the sermon.
I. Life - Please turn with me now to Psalm 100:3 – “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
A. The psalmist is telling us God made us, God created man. According to Acts 17:28 – it is through God we live and move, that we have our very being and existence.
1. This is something we all need to come to understand. We exist because of God.
2. The Lord said in John 15:4-5 – “4. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Do we understand those words “without me you can do nothing”? The idea here is you cannot even exist without God. It is because of Him that you are alive right now.
3. For my existence, for the fact that I am alive and that it is because of Him that I am alive, I say, - thank you.
B. Thank you for creating mankind.
1. Thank you for giving me life.
2. Thank you for sustaining my life.
3. I enjoy being with my brethren, with my wife and with my family. I enjoy being alive. Thank you God.
C. Now I'm just going to ask perhaps a silly sounding question. What is life?
1. I'm serious. Try to answer that question in your mind. What is life?
2. This is the Britannica’s definition of life, “The process of being alive.” Huh. Ok, Life is the process of being alive. That didn't tell me anything.
3. Let’s try Merriam-Webster – Life is “the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body.”
i. So it is the opposite of “dead”.
ii. Then I would have to look at the meanings of vital and functional I suppose.
4. Let’s try the On-line definition – Life is “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” A bit more helpful perhaps.
5. What they are talking about are the manifestations of life. If you have all these things taking place, then you're alive.
D. OK, but what is life? The truth of the matter is we must define life by the way it is manifested, yet we know we are alive. I know I am alive. I exist.
1. I am here and we need to understand it is because of God I am here.
2. It is because of God we are alive right now.
3. Every second every moment of our existence is because of Him. Without Him we can do nothing. Be sure to thank God just for being alive.
II. Earth – Now let’s look at Psalm 115:16 – “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's; But the earth He has given to the children of men.”
A. It begins over in Genesis 1:1 God create the heavens and the earth.
1. We have the atmosphere above us, the ground beneath our feet and the water to sustain life.
2. There’s the universe and then there is the spiritual dimension.
3. All God’s creation, He created the entire universe, He created the spiritual dimension and He created earth.
4. The psalmist tells us He created Earth for the children of man. He created it for us.
B. Isaiah says to us in Isaiah 45:18 – “For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
1. God created the universe. God created our solar system, our galaxy, our sun. God created our earth.
2. Notice that in the verse Isaiah talks about how He created it to be inhabited.
C. I've been reading in the news they're talking about going to the moon again. The question comes to mind, why?
1. They’re talking about going to Mars. Again, the question, why? The moon was not made to be inhabited because it does not naturally support life.
2. The same with Mars. It was not made to be inhabited.
3. For centuries many believed that people lived on the moon until they got telescopes strong enough and looked up there. No there's nobody there. It was not meant to be inhabited.
D. The earth was created to be inhabited. It is the right distance from the sun.
1. If you’re on Venus which is closer to the sun you could not live because Venus was not made or created to be inhabited.
2. If you're on Mars you're too far from the sun. It was not created to be inhabited.
3. We are the right distance from the sun and the moon is the right distance from the earth.
4. We look at everything that we have around us. The sun, the moon, the atmosphere, the land and the water. Think of all the things that are in balance. We use oxygen and emit carbon dioxide. Plants use carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.
5. We are alive and this world was made for us. Everything that is on it is so that we can stay alive and it can be inhabited.
6. If you were to change any of these things the earth could become uninhabitable.
E. The earth is the way God made it. He made it for the children of man, and he made it so that it could be inhabited. Everywhere else we look we see places that we can not live until we learn enough to find a way to survive there. Even then - when we find ways to survive in those places there is constant danger from the environments.
III. Food – The psalmist goes on in Psalm 104:14 – “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth,”
A. Here we're talking about food. How the plants and the grass are for the food of animals and for the food of people. This past summer we had a watermelon, nice big one. We cut it open and oh it tasted so good. Apples grow well here, and we have many varieties. I love a good apple. All this food that we have God created. It’s wonderful! All the different varieties of food and all the different kinds of plants that are out there God created for our service, for our use.
B. Psalm 136:25 says; “Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever.” Tomatoes and squash, cucumbers, and zucchini, where does all this food come from? God.
C. The text in Psalm 147:7-11 – tells us; “7. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God, 8. Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. 9. He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens that cry. 10. He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. 11. The Lord takes pleasure in those who honor Him, In those who hope in His mercy.” I recall from my youth that when my father was talking to another farmer the conversation usually went something like this;
2. “How you're doing?”
3. “Do you think it is going to rain?”
i. That's always the second thing. “Do you think it's going to rain?”
ii. The reason that question is asked is because we always need rain.
iii. We need rain to get the plants going. We need the rain to make them grow. We need rain to make them fill out at the end.
iv. “Yeah, it’s going to rain, and we should have a big harvest this year.”
4. 1 Corinthians 3:6 – “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” Where did this rain come from? Who created water? Who created the condensation cycle? Who created all of this? God.
D. In a little while we are going to be dismissed and go have some lunch. Some of us are probably hungry already and we are planning what we will eat. Before we indulge in that wonderful meal, I want to encourage us to do something.
1. Go to God in prayer and in the prayer be sure to acknowledge where your food comes from and thank God for it. The song we sing, “Count Your Blessings” says “count your many blessings name them one by one.”
2. We can go through the day so easily when God is loading us daily with blessings. Here's another one. Enjoy life.
3. When I was growing up if somebody gives you something and you don’t acknowledge it, that's rude. Common courtesy is if somebody gives you something you acknowledge the gift, and you say; “thank you for what you have given to me”. You're acknowledging their kindness.
4. The mere fact of our existence on the earth and all the blessings given us on earth, all this food that we're eating from all the plants that He has created, should make us want to slow down and look at these blessings, count them and be grateful and express our thanks.
IV. Physical Healing – Now Psalm 103:2-3 says; “2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,”
A. The human body is an amazing thing. When we get a cut, it starts bleeding. The body is designed to clot the blood and stop the bleeding. Not only do we stop bleeding, but our body starts immediately healing. God made the body to repair itself. Whether we realize it or not right now our body is repairing itself. It is in a continual process of healing and repairing. It's amazing - and God made us that way.
B. We talked earlier about plants and we said they are for food for the animals and our food, but they're not just for food, many of them are for medicine.
1. If you ever studied pharmacology and the origin of medicines, you will find a whole lot of them come from plants.
2. Folks, we have learned that certain plants can be used to keep us well and help us heal. Much of this has been known for a very long time. Today that knowledge is much greater and it's an amazing and a wonderful time to be alive.
3. God created all these things in our world around us to help our bodies heal.
4. He's given us the intellect to be able to learn how to do things and use things to help us stay alive longer.
5. Whenever we're going to God in prayer recognize the healing that is taking place not only in you but in others around you and be sure to thank God for healing us of our diseases.
V. Family - Now Psalm 113:9 says; “He grants the barren woman a home, Like a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 127:3 says; “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is His reward.”
A. When a child is born people are excited and thank the Lord because He is blessing them with children and grandchildren.
B. I’d like us to consider this as well. You are part of a family; for each of you have a mother and a father. Thank you, God, for our mothers and fathers. Some of you have siblings. Thank God for those. We may have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, husbands or wives, and in-laws, extended family.
1. We need to slowdown. Recognize the family that we have.
2. Recognize this. These physical blessings of family are being given to us by God and I know I want to say “thank you” to Him for my family.
VI. Forgiveness Of Sin - Now let’s go back to Psalm 103:2-4. “2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4. Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,” Here we're talking about a different nature of blessings. Earlier we've been talking about the physical blessings. Now we're talking about what is commonly called - spiritual blessings and the forgiveness of sins.
A. We understand the reason we took the Lord's Supper is because we're commemorating the sacrifice that was made for the forgiveness of sin.
1. Remember when Jesus was instituting the Lord's Supper - what did He say about the fruit of the vine? Matthew 26:28 – He said; “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
2. Anybody here by any chance struggle with sin? Of course. Anybody here feel totally unworthy of going to heaven? Yeah.
3. We realize this is the beauty of Christianity; God has made a way for your sins and my sins to be forgiven. That's the beauty of it all.
4. The reason that Christ came, and the reason Christ died on the cross, is because God loves us personally, knows us individually. He knew you and I were going to sin. There is no way we could be with Him in heaven unless our sins were forgiven. Let that sink in. He loves you. He knows you.
B. When we're talking about the greatest blessings of life - the greatest blessings are the spiritual blessings that are in Christ Jesus.
1. If you're not in Christ you're missing out on all the wonderful blessings but if you are in Christ recognize the cost of the gift.
2. The cost for your sins to be forgiven, was the death of the son of God on the cross at Calvary. Focus on that.
3. The whole purpose of the Lord's Supper is for us to remember and focus on that. When we take the Lord’s Supper we need to slowdown, slowdown and bring our minds back to Christ crucified and the love that God has for you and me.
4. Hopefully we will focus on the blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins, the sacrifice of Christ and find ourselves loving God, loving Christ, because of the great love that was shown for us.
5. At the same time, we recognize how terrible sin really is. That would hopefully motivate us to repent and strive even more to be like the Christ.
VII. Prayer - Now I would like us to look at Psalm 102:1-2 – “1. Hear my prayer, O Lord, And let my cry come to You. 2. Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; Incline Your ear to me; In the day that I call, answer me speedily.” What a wonderful spiritual blessing is the blessing of prayer. As children of God we have the privilege and the honor to be able to go to the throne of the King of Kings, to the throne of God Himself – and the Creator of the universe will listen to us.
A. Amazing isn’t it? The Creator - God Almighty, who created everything who holds everything together - that creator, will listen to us.
1. He will listen to our prayers. He will listen to our petitions and our cries for help. Not only will He listen He will respond. Brethren let that sink in—the blessing of prayer.
2. When you go to God in prayer... - and by the way if you're not doing this you need to start. Let me tell you a story a preacher told about the time his wife made a pecan pie for their two three-year-old sons. The preacher said he will never forget it. He said; “After my wife put the pecan pie in front of them this is actually what they said “oooo”. “What is that?” “I'm not going to eat that.” Then he said; “These words actually came out of my mouth. “Boys if you don't eat that pecan pie, I'm going to spank you.” As soon as the words came out of his mouth he thought; “that has to be the stupidest thing I've ever said.”
3. The preacher said; “Here I am threatening to spank my boys because they're refusing to eat pecan pie. Of course, when they finally surrendered and took a bite their eyes lit up and they devoured it.”
4. I relate this story to make the point that I would feel foolish if I rebuked anyone for not having a prayer life. What I want to do is tell you it’s good, you need to try it.
B. Take your cares, take your fears, take your problems, take everything that's weighing on you, that's causing you stress, take it all to God and lay it before the throne of the Creator of the Universe.
1. What an amazing blessing. The Philippian letter in 4:6-7 tells us – “6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
2. That peace is attainable, but you've got to take it to God in prayer. You need to cast all your cares before Him and when you're praying - do it with thanksgiving. Just say - by the way God, thank you for listening to me, thank you for being in my life, for hearing me and answering my prayers.
3. Every time I go to God in prayer and I’m asking something - my mind always goes back to what God has already blessed me with. The times He taught me something, the times He kept me safe, the times He gave me physical blessings and the times He gave me spiritual ones. Always make sure you're acknowledging the blessings and giving thanks in return for the blessings from God.
VIII. God Is Our Rock – For the last scripture this morning let’s look at Psalm 18:2 – “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
A. There are times in our life when we're absolutely spent, - spent emotionally and we feel like we’ve got nothing left to give. Or we're physically wiped out and we feel like all we want to do is sit. There are times when we're struggling spiritually, and we feel like we're sinking. I have experienced those things as I believe many of us have.
B. I’ve got some good news for you. You will find it in Psalm 61:2 – “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
1. There's a place where you can go where there is stability.
2. There's a place where you can go where there's a refuge.
3. There's a place where you can go and get strength from.
4. They're all the same place and that place is God. God Himself is the ultimate blessing of all.
C. In our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, God allows us access to Him. To where we can draw strength from Him. Where whenever we feel like we're sinking we can find “The Rock That's Higher Than I”.
1. When I think about looking for that rock that’s higher than I am, I don't visualize jumping up on the rock like king of the mountain. I visualize trying to pull myself up on the rock and then laying there, secure and safe.
2. Find your way to God. Find your way to the rock. Find your way to the strength of God through Jesus Christ.
3. If we're not doing this, I don't see how we're surviving. I don't see how folks live without God. I don't see how we can survive without prayer. I don't see how we can make it in life without having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and God’s spiritual blessings. There are sorrows so much greater than the physical.
It is obvious that I enjoy food. On my chart at the Cleveland Clinic is written “well nourished”. I’ll tell you I enjoy the physical earth on which we live. Folks, if you like it here too then remember the idiom “you ain't seen nothing yet!”
What do you think heaven is going be like? Yup, that's where we're going. The creator of all we see, all we enjoy will be there and we will be with Him. Think how much more wonderful that place must be.
We see from scriptures that the resurrection is real. I believe the resurrection is coming, it's a spiritual blessing that's coming, I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Become conscious of all the blessings that God has daily loading upon you.
The physical blessings we have in being alive on a planet that is so amazing. The blessings of the food that we eat and enjoy, the healing of our body, the intellect we have to learn and discern the things before us.
The blessings of our family, wife, husband, children, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews
Be thankful to God in prayer.
If you're not in Christ, you need to get in Christ as quick as you can because that’s where all the spiritual blessings are found. If you don't know who Jesus is, you need to search it out. You need to start reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Read about the virgin birth.
Read about the miracles.
Read about the resurrection and the crucifixion.
This information is given to us so that we can read about them and conclude that somebody we've never laid eyes on, really is the Christ. He really is the son of God and that sacrifice really was made so our sins could be forgiven.
When you come to this point of faith, if you're not a Christian yet, be willing to openly confess that faith. Then be motivated by that faith to make the commitment of repentance which is to follow the Word of God by faith, in your life putting off the old man putting on the new man. If you're willing to make that commitment we'd be glad to assist you and baptize you into the one body for the remission of your sins.
The power of the blood of the Christ is the way in which all sin is going to be removed, my sins, your sins and we are forgiven.
If you’re a child of God already and you realize there is sin between yourself and your God. Deal with it by taking it to God. We'll pray for you. We will pray with you.
We'll do the best we can to try to encourage you and strengthen you.
If you are subject to the Gospel call in any way whatsoever, let us know as we stand and sing the song that has been selected.
Song before the lesson 68 Count Your Blessings
Reference sermon by: Wayne Fancher
Where and when we meet
Chardon, Ohio 44024