This last message of five on Psalm 119 explores not only verses 137-176 but ties together the main idea of the whole psalm. It addresses the strange paradox that, despite the psalmist’s total devotion to obedience, meditation on the Word and prayer, he still feels weak, sorrowful and afflicted. He ends the psalm (verse 176) with a sigh—“I have become like a sheep who has gone astray”. He talks about his soul clinging to the dust and he likens himself to a wineskin in the smoke, perhaps expressing an experience of feeling empty, dry and dirty. What is happening? What is God doing with this man? Why do we often seek hard after God only to feel weak and afflicted? Pastor Scott spends most of the message answering these questions. God is sovereign and He knows what He’s doing. He is bringing his saints to a place of humility, desperation, neediness, hunger and thirst in preparation to receive more of Him. When we understand God’s ways we trust him instead of shrinking back. This is an important message especially for those questioning why life seems so hard sometimes.
Many topics were covered in this sermon but the punch of the message was around the dreadful reality of God’s judgment, and, particularly, the ultimate judgment of eternal separation. The psalmist talks of weeping over the lostness and rebellion of people around him and Pastor Scott presses us to have this compassion for those we know and love. This is not an easy message to hear. It is not advisable to listen to this message while partially doing other tasks. It is also recommended that you listen to the message when you have enough have time to pray afterward. If the content of this message is fully understood it could produce considerable anguish. This anguish isn’t something negative but is the sort of anguish Jesus experienced when he saw the multitudes (Matt 9) and will produce greater devotion to prayer, fasting and labor to rescue the perishing.
This portion of Psalm 119 is very rich and touches on a wide variety of themes. This particular sermon focuses mainly on the experience of persecution that the psalmist (David?) frequently mentions. Scott widens the discussion to the persecution of the saints through the ages and what Scripture promises. The last part of the message explores some of the things we see in these verses regarding how the psalmist coped with his afflictions. Throughout the message there are some important side notes about revival, the Gospel and the importance of new birth. There a strong pleading at the end to those who do not have assurance of salvation in light of the brevity of life in the body.
This is the second of five messages from Psalm 119. Themes of heart transformation, idolatry, revival, encountering God’s love, boldness with those who taunt, indignation, and satisfaction in Christ are covered. There is a special emphasis on crying out for personal revival.
In this first message of five on Psalm 119 topics like obedience, wholehearted devotion, the Word, dependence on God and the problem of sinful nature are covered. Scott especially drives home the idea that obedience to the commandments of God is essential in order to experience the abiding presence of God. Modern day delusions common in Christian circles are exposed sharply.
This is a short five verse psalm and the first four verses are a call to action: pray, serve, study God, gather to worship and so on. The exhortations, however, are not merely to do these things but to do these things a certain way—with gladness, joy and gratitude. This psalm calls us to have a right attitude in our worship to the Lord. The great motivation that fuels us to serve God with gladness is found in the last verse that says, “The Lord is good and his steadfast love endures forever”. Scott talks about the principle that the more we realize the goodness of God the more we are able to serve God with gladness. The last part of the message reveals some of the dramatic ways God has poured out his abundant goodness to us. Be encouraged!
This message starts with some history of God’s specific call to Ren Church in 2009 to become a house of prayer. Pastor Scott shares some of what God has unveiled about what will be coming in answer to prayer. He also shared that one of the primary things God has been teaching the church is to pray at all times; to pray no matter how we feel; to be constant in prayer, whether on the mountain of inspiration or in the valley of dryness. That’s what Psalm 63 is all about. David seeks God earnestly despite the fact that he describes his experience as being in a “dry and weary land where there is no water”. The psalm reveals what David focused on to motivate him when the feelings of God’s affection were not felt. Scott also talks in depth about how God uses dry seasons to transform our appetites and affections and motives. Anyone wanting a serious prayer life will be encouraged by this message.
Special guest Percy Ballah preached a powerful message from Psalm 139. Percy is pastor of Impact Center, a new church in Trinity Square. Psalm 39 is an encouragement to not keep our struggles hidden but to get them out in the open to God and others. It also gives us perspective in considering the brevity of life. This message is overflowing with hope and is perfect for anyone going through the valley.
Everyone wants to be happy. It’s a basic human desire. Despite the intensity by which people search and the great amounts of money spent to find happiness, few seem to find it. Even many Christians seem to struggle to find a full and complete joy even though the Lord promises it. Psalm 16 says, “in His presence is fullness of joy”. Pastor Scott walks through the psalm looking at the heart and life habits of David to discover the secret of his outrageous joy. This is a good message for anyone who wants more joy and is especially good for those who want joy but struggle to find it.
Throughout Scripture God is likened to a shepherd and his people are likened to sheep. Of all the animals God could compare us to it’s fitting that he chose sheep. They are not very smart, they are prone to wander and they cannot survive on their own. God is the good shepherd who takes care of his sheep with great compassion. This message draws much from the classic book A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller. The author was a shepherd for about a decade in East Africa so his insights into the psalm are profound. Psalm 23 is medicine for the anxious soul. It remind us that God has chosen to take responsibility for us. Knowing God’s presence is with us at all times dissolves fear.